African Safari Holidays – the changing times
African safari holidays of the past involved a campsite in the wilderness with varying levels of comfort and numbers of staff, but today the safari as we know it is predominantly about luxurious lodges and hotel-style service. In fact, so much has the style of safari changed, that the camping and mobile safaris of the past are now considered speciality safaris.
Slick and glossy marketing, and decor-award winning lodges, have ensured that the concept of the African safari has changed forever. But is there still a place for the back-to-the-earth type safari that mobile camping provides?
The air-conditioned rooms and gourmet food of the up market lodges are the big selling point for many people wanting to travel on safari holidays to Africa today, with the countless travel awards on offer in the industry playing a massive role in the travel choices of many people.
So why a mobile camping safari ?
So why rough it on a mobile camping safari holiday when you can indulge in award winning luxury? The answer lies in the personal ideals of an African safari. Is the safari merely to see the Big 5, as many lodges claim to provide, or is your idea of travelling to Africa to experience the essence of the continent?
A mobile safari experience is based on living under the wide sky of Africa, smelling the wood smoke from the camp fire and listening to the sounds of the night knowing that the animals can wander freely into your space whereas a lodge safari is having the security of retreating to the safety of your room.
Mobile safari holidays are also about feeling the dust in your toes and the heat of the day on your back, ideals that have become foreign in the luxury safari sense. So what type of safari will provide the best experience?
Mobile safari or luxury
With mobile safaris, as with accommodated lodge safari, there are options available as to the level of comfort, with participation camping safari been the roughest and fully accommodated mobile safaris often rivalling lodges in comfort.
What many people who are undecided do is combine a mobile safari with a lodge safari and in so doing get the best out of their African safari holiday.
For more info and packages see our Botswana safari comparison guide