Tented camp or camping?
When planning a safari and establishing a budget it is inevitable to think about the choice between a camping or tented camp – lodge safari.
Let’s analyze pros and cons of both possibilities, however disclosing that Uroadventure has come to the decision of NOT offering camping safaris.
In our experience, in fact, the problems encountered during a camping safari affect much more the final evaluation than the mere economic advantage, which in the end is not even as considerable as you might think.
At the end of the trip, we can assure you that most of the people who opt for the camping tent complain about the inconvenience and the difficulties.
Safari in camping tent
The decision to carry out a safari sleeping in a camping tent is certainly a very spartan choice. It is mainly suitable for the most adventurous people. We are referring to both tents directly brought from home and safari tents, supplied directly by tour operators, which are larger and more resistant.
In both cases, you will have to take into account the assembly and disassembly of the tents every day (either you or the driver with the cook). In addition, all the necessary equipment for tents will take space in the car, together with both the luggages of all the participants and the cooking gear for 3 meals a day for the group. The space in the car, especially on safaris with 6 participants, is significantly reduced and movements within the jeep are significantly limited . In addition, the tents, especially in the rainy season, despite being waterproof, sometimes get wet and let moisture pass through. It becomes essential to have a good level sleeping bag that also protects you from the cold during the dry season.
It will not be possible to pitch the tent where you want, but only in the pre-established areas (called Public Campsites). Here overnight stays are mandatory and they have shared bathrooms and refreshment areas. Several times there is neither hot water in the bathroom nor electricity (especially in the Serengeti).
During the night, once you enter the tent, you cannot go out until dawn. The area, in Serengeti and Ngorongoro, is not safe due to the possible presence of animals and predators specifically.
Safari in lodge / tented camps
This is definitely the proposal we offer for our safaris. A mix of lodges (outside the parks, in the area of Karatu, Mto wa Mbu and Arusha) and tented camps (in the Serengeti for example). Every accomodation is carefully selected by us in order to offer to you the best value for money.
The lodges that we use are typical African-style hotels and have everything we expect to find from such accommodation.
The tented camp are immersed in the savannah and can be fixed (usually in the center of the Serengeti) or mobile. Mobile tented camp follow the movements of the great migration. They are toward the north of the Serengeti during the dry season and toward Ndutu in the rainy season. In any case, they consist of a curtain with a bed area, a bathroom and a shower with hot water (sometimes to be requested upon your arrival). In addition, you will also find a “restaurant tent”, a surveillance service and a bonfire. It not only serves as a deterrent for animals but also for socializing with other guests.
Camping or tented camp?
In our opinion, the only point in favor of the campsite is the economic one. Generally for a classic tour of 6 days you can save around $300/400 per person for the same number of people in the jeep.
But are these money really saved ?
We would like to answer NO to this question: both for the reasons previously expressed about possible inconveniences and because camping safaris is no longer adventurous and in contact with nature compared to those in lodges/tented camps.
It is certainly more essential and spartan, but, for example, you will sleep in a campsite outside the parks Lake Manyara and Tarangire. By choosing the right accommodations both medium level and high level, even in these parks you can sleep in close contact with nature.
The extraordinary emotions of sleeping in the Serengeti public camps are the same as those in tented camps with the possibility of having the possibility of taking a hot shower after 10/12 hours of car safari.
Also, in the rainy season, in Ndutu there are tented camps as well as lodges, but no public campsite. Consequently, following the great migration closely is much more complicated as you have to take into account at least 4 hours of car round trip for a game drive in that area .
For these reasons, Uroadventure has decided to offer only safaris with a mix of lodges and tented camps that follow our philosophy: travel with very high quality at a “sustainable” price.
Adventure but also comfort as spending several hours in the car requires the right rest in order to better face the following days of safari. Recover the physical and mental strength to get up early in the morning and to be ready to experience the sunrise in the savannah.