When Planning Your African Safari
Location of the Safari Camp: Camps can be found on private concessions, which to many are considered the finest because the number of travelers is so few. Some camps are located outside of park areas and require passage to the entry gate and check-in prior to Safari. Some are found aside rivers and water holes, which are a natural gathering place for animals. It is wise to know where potential camp sites are located, the number of accommodations and the proximity of your chosen Safari camp to other nearby camps.
Style of the Safari Camp: Tents, rondevals and rooms are choices to consider when selecting a camp. At the finest of camps, one need touch the canvas to realize their luxurious abode is actually a tent. At others, the style could be a rondeval, a bungalow or perhaps an accommodation similar to an outback motel.
Size of the Safari Camp: Certain camps on private concessions may number only 6 tents with 12 or fewer guests on site. At such a camp while on Safari, one may not encounter another vehicle. Other Safari camps may have as many as 50 accommodations and border an adjacent camp, making the experience altogher different. In a larger setting with a sizeable contingent of viewers, there can be a gathering of vehicles around an animal sighting, making photography a challenge and lessening the excitement of the find, both because of the gathering of viewers now in place and the liklihood that this "wild" animal has seen scores of vehicles and is no longer agitated by their presence as they might be in remote areas where travelers are few.
Amenities at the Safari Camp: Some of the Safari Camps have the finest of food, served by waiters using candlelight under the stars with local alcoholic beverages all-inclusive. Place your Safari clothing in the basket and have it cleaned and freshly ironed by next afternoon. Other lesser camps offer comfortable lodging, buffet-styled meal servings and optiional amenities. The type and condition of vehicles used on Safari is another consideration. Some use newly acquired Land Rovers, others use older models or employ the use of vans, generally seating up to 8 with a pop-top roof to allow for stand-up viewing upon arrival at an animal sighting. It behooves one to question what type of equipment and what standard of vehicle is being used by the camp.
Mindful that Less can be More: The smaller Safari camps on private concession have both limited number of guests and limited number of animals. The animals in these environs are far less accustomed to visitors and thus are found to be more active than those who see hordes of visitors each day. It does on occasion make for real adventure. The larger camps have far more visitors and the animals are far more likely to respond in a timid fashion, no longer concerned about their safety, while at the much smaller camps, they are ever-mindul of a potential danger. It does, at times, make for a rather dramatic difference while out on Safari. Certainly the sighting of animals in the wild overall is a thrilling experience, and seldom does a visitor on Safari to Africa go unrewarded, wherever the campsite.
The Preferred Choice: There is little doubt that choosing the finest of camps is the ideal, and surely will result in a Safari that will be treasured for a lifetime. However, there are a good selection of lesser camps that offer perfectly fine accommodation and wonderful animal sightings as well. Not everyone is positioned to afford the high cost of a luxury safari and it should not deter one from choosing to travel on safari.
The continent of Africa is a true wonder, allowing for an experience that is all encompasing, be it in search of an animal sighting, crossing the veld during the track or simply enjoying the magnificence of a brilliant sunrise or sunset. Choose the option that best suits you, and delay if you must, however, do not deny yourself the experience of Safari in Africa.
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