When Karen Blixen famously wrote the lines ‘I had a farm in Africa’ she did not go into any detail about the exact nature of its plumbing. Indeed, until recently, those who went on safari were happy to make do with bucket showers and simple lavatories in a mobile tented camp. They provide hot clean water and adequate facilities but are not necessarily luxurious. For many it was, and in fact remains, part of the enjoyment of a classic safari.
Then along came the ensuite bathroom. Alongside the improvement in plumbing came a different sort of safari camp. Bush showers that were open to the skies have been upgraded into fully walled and roofed ensuite bathrooms. Camps have become semi-permanent or permanent or have been replaced with lodges. These are usually superbly equipped and offer a boutique hotel experience in the middle of some of the best wildlife areas on the continent.
So for many, this has improved their experience of the African safari. They need not compromise on cleanliness and comfort, while still enjoying access to the wild and rugged area around their camp or lodge. Yet, others still prefer the real feel of adventure of the old classic safari which comes with the traditional mobile camp. Preferring deck chairs round a campfire to a stylish bar in a luxury lodge, for many these small mobile camps encapsulate the spirit of the classic safari.
Whatever your views on plumbing, thankfully there are so many wonderful camps of each and every variety that the individual preferences of clients can be fully accommodated.