A camping safari in Kenya is one of the world’s great travel adventures. Pitching your tent in the bush gives you the feeling of really living in the wild. The romance of an open campfire under a magnificent sky full of stars is undeniable, and night in the wild is a magical time, when the air rings with the whooping calls of hyenas and the dawn is heralded by the unforgettable sound of a lions roar.
This is truly a great adventure, and most of Kenya’s Game Reserves and National Parks have campgrounds and some basic facilities. Clear tent space and long drop latrines are often available. In some campsites, water and rudimentary shelters are also provided.
Many safari operators offer camping safaris through one or more of the Parks and Reserves.Vehicles, guides, tents and equipment, as well as food and a cook are all provided.
If you are travelling independently with your own vehicle and camping equipment, then you should carry adequate supplies of fresh water, food, fuel and emergency supplies. Do not rely on local water supplies or rivers and streams for potable water. Any water taken from a stream should be filtered or boiled for several minutes before drinking.
If you are trekking and planning to wild camp outside of official or designated campsites, seek local advice in advance. The land on which you are planning to camp may be privately owned or be traditional lands under the control of a nearby village or tribe. In some instances, advance permission and/or payment is required. If camping in the vicinity of a village, as you may be asked to do, remember to practice culturally sensitive behaviour.
Camping should always have minimal impact on the environment. All rubbish and waste matter should be buried, burnt, or take away with you. Do not leave food scraps or containers where they may attract and harm animals.
Campers should also take care of wildlife. Do not leave fruit or other food inside tents, it can attract monkeys, baboons, and even in some areas elephants, resulting in destruction of tents and equipment.
For those looking for the Camping experience without the possible discomfort, then a Tented Camp is an ideal option.
Tented Camps provide the visitor with large walk in tents, complete with beds and furniture. The tent often has its own private bathroom with supplied water, showers and flush toilets.
In some cases these camps are established on a mobile basis and fully stocked and equipped by a safari company.
In other permanent tented camps, tents are on large raised wooden platforms with private balconies and excellent views.
Most Tented camps have a central mess tent, or a fully stocked restaurant and bar.
Levels of luxury in tented camps vary from the functional through to five star, with tents offering the standard of accommodation one would expect from a top end international resort.
Tented camps can be found in many of Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves, as well as on private game ranches and sanctuaries