The sound of a crackling fire in the wide-open expanse of the bush is something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. The effect of this ambience is amplified when you look up at the sky and find it wrapping you with millions of stars.
It’s peaceful all around and you’re sitting in your camp admiring your surroundings when you hear the thunderous roar of Africa’s top predator, the lion. Feeling tingles running down your spine, you look around and realize there is nothing but the crisp night air between you and the local wildlife. You turn back to your tent and sleep soundly knowing that your travel guides have the situation in hand. In the morning you wake up to the thundering sound of hooves, like a herd of wildebeest on their migration nearby! You come out of your camp to a mouthwatering breakfast being prepared by your guides. Such are the joys of Fly Camping in African and it is an experience unlike any other.
The term ‘Fly Camping’ originates from the early days of safaris when the hunters travelling light would pack the outer sheet of a tent called a flysheet and wind it up between some trees for their shelter. This setup was aimed at protecting the safari-goers from the rain and the sun while they ate and rested. It was easy to organize and disassemble and allowed people to easily move to their next destinations. There are many travel companies such as Far and Wild Travel that offer adventure enthusiasts a chance to relive this experience. These days, you might not get the precise and rather cumbersome experience of the ancient hunters, as luxury safaris in Africa have been modified to add comfort to the travels,this said, the essential experience remains the same.
Here are the top four fly camping destinations in Africa:
Roho ya Selous in Tanzania
Fly camping in the Tanzanian Roho ya Selous is simply amazing. Most people say that it is possibly the best place in Africa to fly camp, especially in the Selous Game Reserve. In this place, there are very few people and too many wild animals. The prominent citizens of this reserve include wild dogs, leopards, lions, and a staggering 400 species of birds. There are plentiful waterways to attract your eyes to a colourful cast of scenery that changes with the different positions of the sun. The night is as interesting as it could be. The weather gets cold and you have to light a campfire to keep yourself warm. You can get cosy with your travel partners, tell tales about your previous adventures and enjoy a hearty dinner. What more can you ask for?
Sassab in Kenya
If you are looking for one of the purest African Fly camping adventures then we’d recommend you Sasaab region in Kenya. You reach thereafter a 4 – 5-hour walk along a picturesque track. You can capture numerous sights and experiences of the bush as you walk along the Ewaso Nyiro River. The winding river will take you to your campsite in the Samburu wilderness. If the journey is tiresome for you, then you will absolutely love the campsite. The camps will be set up by your tour guides and a crackling fire will be there for you to huddle around with your adventure buddies. The starry sky of Kenya will be your roof for that day and the ambience will be provided by the sounds of the untamed beasts living around you. There will be mosquitoes, but the net in your tent will take care of that. You will have one of the best slumbers of your life there.
Okavango in Botswana
If you are looking for fly camping in a remote place in Africa then you should fly camp at Okavango. The camping site is located in the remote southeast part of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The facilities here are really good and when you arrive here you almost feel like you are at a permanent camp. But this is not what meets the eye. The camping site here moves depending on the location of the hunt. There is a very convenient bush toilet and the beds are draped in mosquito netting which is so light and transparent that you can easily capture views of the mopane forests and the Qwaapo River. There is also a wild dog den nearby, but you don’t need to worry about them. The area is well protected by strong and fearless guards. The food here is quite good too and if you have a hunting permit, you can have your hunted animals cooked here too.
The Sahara Desert in Morocco
This one is a bit different than the regular African safaris. It has more of an Arabian touch. Fly camping in the Gold Sand Camp in Morocco is something straight out of a fairy tale. The golden sands of the desert surround you and there is a certain stillness in the air that is unexplainable. It’s very peaceful there. If you are looking for a true oasis that is surrounded by windswept sand and allows you to learn about nomadic people, then this is just the right place for you. You can spend a day exploring the dunes, then come back all tired just to lounge on comfortable cushions set on colourful Berber carpets. You enjoy a traditional candlelit meal here which is followed by live entertainment that you’ll never forget. When you look up at the heavens, you find it dotted with stars and the sight completes the trip for you.
If you are looking for a retreat in the wilds, there could be nothing better than a fly camping trip. Africa is a great place for fly camping especially if you are interested in watching the starry sky at night. The region has very low light pollution which translates into high visibility of the starts at night. The experience of sleeping under the starry sky can’t be explained in words and you have to go and experience it for yourself. If you are an adventure traveler and a foodie, then you can ask your tour guide for some local cuisines during your tour. These places have some of the most exotic food dishes on the menu and missing them is a huge loss. Do take care of your stomach and digestive system as some of these foods may prove to be difficult to digest.
These were the top four fly camping destinations in Africa. Fly camping is an adventure that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. It gets you closer to nature and you get a chance to live like the ancients who spent their time in the peaceful African environments. If you are going there to spend some peaceful time and take some great pictures back home then we recommend that you invest in a decent DSLR camera to capture those moments forever.