Anyone who has ever wondered whether they would find a tented safari in Africa a bit primitive needs to reconsider their definition of the word ‘tent’. For many of us the word conjures up images of soggy canvas, constricted space, outdoor ablutions and charred food. But tented camps in Africa have taken the term ‘tent’ and elevated it to a whole new level.
Think glamping and then double or treble it, adding a long list of creature comforts along the way. This is luxury at the highest end of the scale; and tents are veritable palaces. While some retain an element of canvas, at the top end of the scale, they come with thatched roofs and wooden floors, vast canopied beds and sumptuous armchairs, flushing loos and power showers, decks, day beds and plunge pools.
Outstanding game viewing
Of course, you don’t go on safari simply to enjoy the indoor facilities. So it is important when selecting camps to visit that you ensure you will be visiting areas with great game viewing too. Many of the top camps have been long established in the best spots in the finest concessions, making game viewing from your own terrace a realistic prospect. What is more, from the dining and sitting areas of the camp, it is often possible to see animals crossing a river or grazing in the near distance. This is what makes a high end safari so special: privileged game viewing without any compromise to your creature comforts.
Proximity to big game delivers an inevitable thrill, but not at the expense of safety. Viewing from specialist safari vehicles gets you extremely close to animals, especially in areas where they have established trust that these large mobile objects will do them no harm. The expertise of local guides, working with a network of trackers, will ensure that you have the best chance of seeing whatever game is in your area, but they also have deep knowledge of the wildlife they are following and will ensure that no risks are taken.
Rhythm of the day
Game drives are usually early in the morning, followed by a delicious breakfast; and evening game drives are never undertaken without the traditional ‘sundowner’ overlooking a breath-taking view. There is no compromise with food and drink; they are an important aspect of the high end safari experience. Fresh food is flown in regularly and chefs are highly skilled, so after an excellent lunch you have nothing to do but snooze the afternoon away. And that is where the tent comes in.