"The old-school way of safari"
"The old-school way of safari"
Imagine laying in bed at the end of a thrilling day’s safari – not in a lodge but a private canvas tent in the middle of the great African wilderness. Imagine wild animals roaming around your camp under the burning night’s sky alive with millions of stars.
If this isn’t adventure, we don’t know what is.
There are many ways to do a safari and none of them can be considered either the right or wrong way to do it, but there is the most traditional way.
A mobile safari gets you in the thick of things, allowing you to experience Africa and its plethora of animals much more intimately than if you were sleeping in a hotel or lodge. This is how people in the area have lived and travelled for thousands of years and if you want to go to the very heart of what a safari is, then a mobile safari might well be exactly what you’re looking for.
Mobile safaris involve groups moving from day to day to different locations while staying in tented camps that have been specifically erected for the group. If you’re looking for that wonderfully old-fashioned way of travelling then this is it.
The temporary canvas tented camps can be put up and dismantled quickly, which means that over just a few days you can explore multiple locations utilizing the same mobile camp and crew.
These multi-day itineraries where the camp is moved to new locations every day, or every few days, is where the true magic of a mobile safari lies – it’s a journey through the landscape. And if you didn’t already know, the word ‘safari’ translated from Swahili to English means ‘journey’ – so in our view a mobile safari is the purest form of a safari. Mobiles are the origin of the incredible safari experience.
Not all mobile safaris are the same and there are numerous different styles, variations, and luxury levels available.
Below is a list of our favourites with more specific details. Generally speaking, a mobile safari consists of large walk-in-sized canvas tents with en-suite ‘bush bathrooms’ and proper beds. All the work of setting up and dismantling the camp, preparing food, and general camp chores are carried out by the camp staff.
Some people get a little nervous because they assume it’s just like camping but near lions, but mobile safaris couldn’t be further from that blustery camping experience where you crammed into the corner of the tent wondering how long you can hold out before running quickly outside to relieve yourself.
The more luxurious mobile safaris even come with large king-size beds, brass showers, and flushing toilets, but luxury comes at a cost and we’re not talking about money. The more luxurious the camp, the more manpower is needed and more time required to erect and dismantle it, which can eat into your time spent out on safari.
We recommend somewhere in the middle – enough luxury to make your mobile safari an unforgettable experience, but small enough that the logistics don’t begin to weigh down the safari. Simply ask yourself, do I have everything I need and nothing I don’t? The chandelier and the brass bathtub are all well and good, but are they really safari essentials to you?
If you can have a good night’s sleep, great food, and a bush bathroom, then you have all the creature comforts you need to immerse yourself in the wilderness and enjoy the journey.
We understand that sleeping out in the African wilderness for the first time might seem a little daunting, but rest assured you’re in the hands of experts. While it would be amiss of us to say that you are 100% safe at all times (are we ever really 100% safe?), safety shouldn’t hold you back from doing a mobile safari.
Our guides are not only experts when it comes to tracking and interacting with wild animals, they are also the ones you want by your side if anything was to ever happen. All that we ask is that you pay attention to hosts and keep the tent zipped up at all times. But other than that, a mobile safari is no more dangerous than a journey through any lodge or even a large city – and maybe even a little safer.
The major difference between mobile safaris and other forms that we offer is that they are constantly on the move. Camps might stay up for two or three days at most, but usually, they are assembled and disassembled daily to accompany a location change.
On most other safaris you will sleep in lodges or hotels that may be remote, but are still much closer in style and dynamics to what people are normally used to.
If the idea of doing a mobile safari has piqued your interest but you still have a few reservations, it’s perfectly natural. Sleeping in a tent in the middle of the African savannah might sound like heaven to some, but for others, it can be a scary prospect.
Think about what kind of safari you’re looking to do. Mobile safaris are always on the move, so you don’t have a set base per se that you can dump all of your things in when you arrive and return to every evening. If the idea of a base sounds more appealing to you, then a mobile safari might not be what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you love the idea of always moving, throwing everything into the backpack each morning, and looking forward with excited anticipation to where the next camp might be, then a mobile safari is perfect for you. If you love a good journey, a bit of uncertainty along the way, and almost certainly some of the most exotic animals on the planet, you can’t really go wrong.
A mobile safari is a fantastic experience in itself and is incredibly rewarding. As said before, it’s a real journey that sees you moving across Africa’s wild landscapes as a small group while sleeping in pristine wilderness areas, under the stars, with nothing more than a canvas tent separating you from nature.
Price-wise, it can also be a more affordable means to experience an extended ‘serviced’ safari as you are not paying for all those extra luxuries and infinity swimming pools. Instead, you are paying just enough for the good service, the comfort, and the access to these incredible locations.
This is especially true if you aim for the mid-range mobile safaris – here the focus is very much on the safari experience while your basics of comfort are catered for. The 5-star luxury mobile safaris can become a bit more expensive as the logistical cost of moving such an elaborate camp can include a large team and heavy-duty trucks. So, there comes a price point when it may make more sense to consider a lodge-based safari unless you are happy to pay for the novelty.
Essentially, the main advantage of a mobile safari is that when you return to camp from an activity, your safari doesn’t stop – the camp itself, the tents and the wilderness setting are all part of the excitement of your safari. Whereas with a lodge-based safari it can be easy to step off the vehicle, connect to the lodge’s wifi and retreat to your air-conditioned room – totally retracting you from the African wilderness you travelled so far to experience. With a mobile safari, you are on the ground and immersed in wild Africa from start to finish. If you want the traditional safari, then look no further.
Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!