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Authentic African Tented Safaris

Imagine the experience of waking up not to your daily digital demands but to the sound of lions on the move. First light sees you sipping a steaming coffee as your guide packs a 4X4 for a game drive. Your accommodation – a walk-in tent with beds and lighting – sits snugly under a tree, and the smell of breakfast being prepared for your return fills the air.

Comfort camping safaris are arguably the most authentic of all African safaris. Taking advantage of their simple, mobile nature, these fully serviced camps access the best game viewing areas in southern Africa’s blue-chip safari destinations – Botswana, the Kruger, Zambia and Zimbabwe. An itinerary typically takes in a number of wildlife hotspots where you stay for a night or two: furnished tents are pre-erected for you, chairs set around a cosy fire, and 3-course dinners are served under the stars.

More affordable than lodge-based safaris, comfort camping safaris deliver a more intimate and interest-focussed experience. With usually no more than 8 in a group, safaris are often set in private reserves, giving you exclusive sightings and unspoilt views. Experienced, knowledgeable guides lead activities which – depending on your choice of destination – include game drives, canoe expeditions, night drives and walking safaris.

We’ve answered the most common questions about comfort camping safaris below and highlighted the different kinds of safari experiences available. Browse our recommended tours or simply contact us with your requirements and we will tailor-make a camping safari for you.

African Comfort camping safaris

What to Expect

Comfort camping safaris are journeys ranging between a few days to longer, staying almost exclusively in Africa’s best national parks and wildlife reserves or their adjoining private concessions. Usually operating in the dry season, they are mobile safaris, moving from camp to camp via 4X4, canoe or on foot.

You won’t need to set up tents or cook, and you still enjoy the comforts of a more established lodge but without the more luxurious touches like a swimming pool or Wi-Fi. On a comfort camping safari you still sit down to excellent food and cold drinks and there are hot-water showers and simple but adequate toilet facilities.

Who Should Go?

You don’t need to be especially fit or fearless for a camping safari but many of our tours involve walking and canoeing, and you will be under canvas in big game country. We recommend them for couples and single travellers looking for an authentic, experienced-focussed safari with more than a basic layer of comfort and convenience.

We also recommend exclusively booking a camping safari for a multigenerational family or group of friends travelling together. This way, you can build the safari around the interests and timetable of your group. Note however that camps are unfenced and open to wildlife; most operators take children only over the age of six. Ask us about individual suitability for families.

Vehicle-based Safaris

These safaris travel between campsites and conduct game drives in specially modified 4X4 vehicles. Raised high off the ground and with open sides, they provide an ideal platform for wildlife sightings and photography. Small group size means everyone gets a window seat.

Your guide serves as both driver and game drive host; the day revolves around two drives – an early morning drive that returns in the mid-morning, and an afternoon drive that returns after sunset. On certain vehicle-based tours there may also be the chance to go on short walks and water excursions with your guide.

Canoe/Walking Safaris

Combining land and water environments gives you the broadest range of wildlife experiences. Our canoe/walking safaris explore wild stretches of the Zambezi River and ephemeral Kalahari waterways in Botswana. It is an experience for the adventurous: there are hippos and crocodiles in the rivers and you’ll be on foot in big game country and sleeping under mosquito nets on riverbanks.

But the reward is a safari of unforgettable moments – encounters with elephants, campfire conversation under a dazzling night sky and the fascinating company of expert, armed guides. The canoeing is easy – you float down with the current and the walking terrain is flat and open.

Overnight Walking Safaris

As Africa’s dry season wears on, animals concentrate in increasing numbers around permanent water. Vegetation dies back and the skies are clear: ideal conditions for walking.

On foot in the Kruger or South Luangwa is one of Africa’s most exhilarating safari experiences. Armed guides and trackers lead the way, sharing their knowledge of the landscape with you. Encounters with animals like giraffe, elephant, buffalo and antelope are common and there are always signs – if not sightings of – the big predators.

The walking terrain is mostly flat and open and doesn’t require a high degree of fitness; you’ll be accommodated in tented bush camps or fly-camps – even simpler camps set up as you go.

Selected Tours

Comfort Camping Safaris: You’ll enjoy it all from the comfort of a fully serviced tented camp, sitting around a convivial campfire with delicious home-cooked meals and cold drinks. Your walk-in tent has a camp bed and you’ll enjoy the comfort of an en suite bathroom complete with hot water shower and toilet. This is a non-participation mobile safari and you need only sit and relax at camp. Choose on our these African Mobile Safaris & combine them with lodges and hotels to get the best of both worlds.

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Comfort camping safaris are arguably the most authentic of all African safaris
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Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
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From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.