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What is a Safari Camp?

What is a safari camp? – certainly everyone’s first thought is the boy scout type – cramped, old fashioned with no more facilities than a creaky old camp bed at best or more likely a sleeping bag on a ground sheet that always manages to cover the most pointy surface you are only aware of in the middle of the night. Then of course there is the unsavoury thought of using the communal washroom block which no matter how updated or modern is still at a distance from where you are sleeping. Holidays to Africa conjure up all sorts of images such as these.

Luxury safari tents are as far removed from this vision as Africa holiday accommodation could be and proof is clearly available on the many excellently produced luxury safari company and property websites. If circumstances and local wildlife dictate, many tented rooms are situated high off the ground on platforms that can be linked by decking to other areas of the camp. While most luxury safari tented rooms are twins/doubles many camps provide at least one family safari size tent which also serves as a honeymoon safari tent and all are very well appointed. There are proper beds, with often a separate relaxation area which may open out on to your own private terrace with a view over a river or other African vista, with simple, stylish furnishings in keeping with the local culture. All enjoy en-suite facilities and although the shower may of the bucket variety there is always a plentiful supply of hot water.

Many visitors embarking on a luxury safari are bowled over by the standard and quality of the camp cuisine and thoroughly enjoy the al fresco meals and drinks by a roaring camp fire which are an integral part of staying in a luxury African safari camp. Until you have been on an African holiday of this type it can be difficult to anticipate the casual laid back atmosphere and nature of it compared to other vacations. But after a day or two everyone gets into the swing of it and then really enjoys the freedom of not having to “dress for dinner”.

Existing in a slightly more formal set up (if you could even call it formal) would be luxury safari lodge accommodation as this could make the guest feel a few degrees further away from nature than sleeping in a tented room and is of a more familiar construction. The “public” areas of dining room, bar and perhaps a library area may be enclosed and although perhaps built of local materials and in keeping with the surrounding landscape its construction will enable as much breeze/views etc to be accessible as possible. Of course some lodges are very much more luxurious than others – with sumptuous furnishings, more rooms and other facilities such as private plunge pools sunk into the decking surrounding the suite. There is a huge range of accommodation on offer to suit all tastes and budgets.

Both tented rooms and lodge accommodation can be combined in an itinerary dependent on location and the client’s preference and even after the initial discussions and gentle persuasion some are surprised to find that they may prefer the more rustic nature of a tented room over that of a stay in a lodge.

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