Lightweight Camping

While for most safari schedules this accommodation option happens to be the most cost-efficient, many of our visitors choose to stay in tents in order to be as close as possible to the very nature that they have usually travelled thousands of miles to enjoy.

In contrast to our mountain expeditions, where we are required to select fairly small storm-resistant tents, on safari (unless we are expecting bad weather), we are usually able to afford safari-goers a little more space.

While safari-goers will provide their own sleeping equipment as per our recommended Lightweight Safari Equipment & Clothing List, those on this option will have their tents assembled for them each evening and collapsed again in the morning, with the tents being packed away and stowed on the vehicle, for use again the following evening.

Those who have themselves been on ‘camping holidays’ will often have had to equip and maintain their own sites and arrange their own meals. On our lightweight camping safaris however, we regularly receive feedback from guests that they were surprised to be able to enjoy such high levels of service and care, and that the experience was a great deal more comfortable than they anticipated.

Three main types of lightweight camping are incorporated into our Tanzanian safaris:

1. Public Camps Within the National Parks of Tanzania

We used to receive feedback that visitors had been disappointed - particularly in the busy season - with the numbers of other campers sharing the site, and the fairly low standards of ablutions facilities. Within the last year, however, Tanzania National Parks have begun a programme of upgrading their camps and some of the new facilities that we have seen completed are now very acceptable. Public camps are usually equipped with hot showers, but the warmth of the water should not be relied upon.

2. Private Camps - usually located outside the national parks of Tanzania

Generally basic, but usually better equipped than public camps, these are camps situated outside, but within easy reach of, the national parks. Most are equipped with hot showers and will usually also have access to electricity to recharge mobile phones and camera batteries. Many private camps also have bars.

3. Special Safari Camps in Tanzania

For some reason this is the designation given to areas of ground that have been allocated by the national park for use by very small numbers of visitors on self-supported expeditions. Availability is very limited. These areas have no infrastructure whatsoever and require safari organisers to bring their own mess tents, tables, chairs and portable lavatories. Costing slightly more than the public camps, these camps are arguably the best means of being as close to nature as possible and of witnessing the nocturnal sounds of the African bush. These camps also offer some of the best night photography available on safari. Quotations for this accommodation do not feature on our price list and must be requested directly. Costs will usually be around USD 30 a day more for this option, to cover the higher rent, and additional equipment and staffing.