Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kenya Luxury Safaris: Kenya Camping Tours: African Safari Holiday

Kenya Luxury Safaris & Kenya Camping Tours

Kenya camping safaris

Camping safaris cater for budget travelers, the young (or young at heart) and those who are prepared to put up with a little discomfort to get the authentic bush experience. At the bottom of the price range, youll have to forgo luxuries such as flash toilets, running water and cold drinks, and youll have to chip in to help with chores such as putting up the tents and helping prepare dinner.

Showers are provided at some but not all campsites, although theres usually a tap where you can scrub down with cold water. The price of your safari will include three meals a day cooked by the camp safari chef(s)

There are more comfortable camping options, where there are extra staffs to do all the work, but they cost more. A number of companies have also set up permanent campsite in the Maasai Mara and Samburu National Reserves where you can just drop into the bed at the end of a dusty days drive.

At the top of end of this market are some cvery plush luxury campsites offering hot showers and big permanent tents fitted with mosquito nets, beds and sheets, about as far from real camping as five-star hotels are from youth hostels.

Whatever you pay, youll end up hot, tired and dusty at the end of the day, but youll sleep well, and if youre lucky your traveling companions should be like-minded independent souls with a sense of adventure. Few things can match the thrill of waking up in the middle of the African bush with nothing between you and the animals except a sheet of canvas and the dying embers of last nights fire.

Its not unusual for the elephants or hippos to trundle through the camp at night, or even the occasional lion, and, so far, no-one has been eaten or trampled on-that we know of.

Kenya Lodge & tented camp safaris
If you cant do without luxuries, theres another side to the safari business, a world of luxurious lodges with swimming pools and bars overlooking secluded waterholes, and wonderfully remote tented camps that re-create the way wealthy hunters used to travel around Kenya a century ago. Some of the lodges are beautifully conceived and the locations are to die for, perched high above huge sweeps of savannah or water. holes teeming with African wildlife. Most are set deep within the national parks, so the safari drives offer maximum wildlife viewing time. A lot of the environmental bad habits of the 1980s, leopard baiting for example, are falling out of favour.

In the lodges you can expect rooms with bathrooms or cottages with air conditioning, international cuisine, terrace bar beneath a huge makuti (palm-thatched) canopy with wonderful views, swimming pool, wildlife videos and other entertainments, and plenty of staff on hand to cater for all your requirements.

Almost all lodges have a waterhole, and some have a hidden viewing tunnel that leads right to the waterside. Some also put out salt to tempt animals to visit, a dubious habit which shouldnt really be encouraged.

The luxury tented camps tend to offer semi permanent tents with fitted bathrooms (hot showers come as standard), beds with mosquito nets, proper furniture, fans and gourmet meals served alfresco in the bush. The really exclusive ones are even more luxurious than the lodges, and tend to be very expensive; many of the guests fly in on charter planes, which should give you some impression of the kind of budget we're talking about.

Kenya Luxury Safaris & Kenya Camping Tours: African Safari Holiday

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