Although some safari camps in Zambia are permanently placed, many are seasonal to comply with local environmental laws. Each year at the beginning of the safari season in April, seasonal camps are essentially built from scratch. An oasis of calm and luxury is created, especially geared to the discerning adventurer. Enjoy all the amenities you would expect from quality accommodation alongside the intoxicating flavour of the Zambian bush. When assessing accommodation options consider value for money, location, views, size of camp (number of rooms), management style and camp atmosphere, food quality and dining arrangements (communal or individual), service levels, variety of activities, quality of guiding, relaxation opportunities and game-viewing potential are all hugely important factors to consider. Your overall safari experience will be determined by a variety of factors, and not just comfort levels.
Safari camps in Zambia
For those that are a little more adventurous, Zambia has a number of fantastic seasonal and mobile tented safari camps from which to choose. The non-permanent, safari camps allow you to be fully immersed in nature. The safari camps are often erected for three to six month periods following the great migration and other wildlife movements, putting you in the best locations for game viewing. Most of Zambia’s safari camps are based in and around the country’s national parks, rather than in private concessions.
Sometimes the safari camps are set up prior to guest arrival with beautiful, remote locations specifically chosen for their proximity to the game as well as, of course, to provide guests with magnificent scenery, an untouched wildness which allows for very special game viewing experiences. Campsites are semi-permanent and erected in the open bush. There are no fences and wild animals can roam freely, it is considered safe yet certain clients are nervous of this experience.
The main advantage of Africa's mobile tented camps is that the camp moves several times throughout the year, keeping close proximity with wildlife movement, always being in the right place at the right time of year for the best sightings. The other major advantage of choosing to stay in a tented camp is that your experience of sleeping in nature is greatly enhanced - there is nothing quite like hearing the sounds of the night and the wild, the distant bark of a wild dog or the roar of a lion. It is exhilarating and invokes an awareness of truly being in the wilderness.
This style of safari is that the location of your camp is chosen depending on when and where the wildlife is most dense, and it allows access to some of the more remote parts of the reserves away from other visitors, where permanent structures are not permitted safari camps are about an authentic safari experience, stripped of the unnecessary barriers to an intimate, exclusive wilderness experience, without sacrificing any comfort or convenience.
Typically in Zambia the safari camps are small and quite intimate, sometimes with just three or four guest rooms; large safari hotels are not the norm in Zambia. Many camps are still owner run and hosted by dedicated people with in-depth knowledge of the bush, thus considerably enhancing your safari experience. Almost all safari camps have en-suite rooms or tents, most with flushing toilets and running water. The simplest may be constructed largely of reeds; others will be tented in concept, while in some you’ll find permanent structures of wood or stone, with glazed windows. Yet wherever you are, standards are generally very high – so even where mod cons are apparently lacking, you’ll still have hot water on call and exceptionally well-designed toilet facilities!
Security from wild animals at night
This may well have an impact on your choice if you are intending to stay ‘under canvas’. Some properties will be surrounded by electric fences, whilst others will offer open access to all animals. Sleeping ‘under canvas’ is clearly more adventurous and takes you ‘closer to nature than sleeping behind a solid wall. This is a huge advantage, and indeed, perhaps part of the real safari experience, allowing you to enjoy something memorable and different from home. However, it is important that you feel comfortable, and not nervous, about your choice of accommodation.
It is quite common these days for safari camps to offer en-suite flush toilets and plumbed showers. However, more adventurous camps may have open-air bathrooms, long-drop (a hole in the ground with a box-seat over it) or chemical toilets and/or traditional ‘bucket’ showers (hot water provided on request, but a limited amount for each shower). Occasionally, facilities may be shared and/or located separately from your sleeping tent.