Eco-friendly African safari camps can take on many forms. Some are mobile, moving with the seasons or each guest, fly camps that move along a trail each night, or camps that are built into nature but would leave no trace of their previous existence if they were ever to be disassembled. This Earth Day, we’re exploring our top six eco-friendly African safari camps that leave no trace behind. These eco-friendly African safari camps bring out your inner explorer.
Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp doesn’t use the word “mobile” lightly. With each new guest that arrives, the camp is moved to a different location within the 340,000 acre private Singita Grumeti concession. And moving the camp is no small feat since it includes six tents, each with en suite bathroom facilities and two mess tents. While planning the mobile camp, designers looked to the Land Rover, the ultimate safari vehicle, drawing inspiration from the rubber, canvas, steel, and leather. Those elements are woven through the tent with an exquisite attention to detail. It’s almost hard to believe that a mobile camp could be so luxurious.
This is one of our eco-friendly African safari camps that gets back to the basics, allowing you to explore the Okavango Delta on foot as the first African explorers did. At the end of each safari season Footsteps packs up camp until the next season, leaving no trace behind. There are only three tents at this exclusive-use safari camp, with a maximum of six guests at one time. The Meru-style canvas tents include insect-proofing, en suite bathroom facilities, and hot water bucket showers. There’s no electricity here, but we don’t think you’ll miss it with the sounds of nature serenading you.
While staying at ol Donyo Lodge, you have the option to fly-camp for a night or two in yurt-style tents. Set out from the lodge by by foot, horseback, or a game drive, and arrive at the campsite in the heart of the Chyulu Hills. It’s nestled next to a large volcanic crater in an area filled with mist forests, lava tubes, and open plains.
Eco-friendly African safari camps don’t necessarily have to be mobile. Anabezi luxury tented camp is located at the intersection of the Zambezi and Mushika Rivers on the lower end of the Zambezi National Park and is built on raised wooden decks. Suites include private decks with small plunge pools, large canopy mosquito nets, and large sitting areas. It is completely integrated into the wild so keep your eyes open because animals wander freely through the grounds. You might even see a lion walk past your deck or elephants in the camp.
In 2009 the annual floods opened the Selinda Spillway, causing it to flow in full after being dry for three decades. Now you can explore the waterways between the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti Swamps by canoe, camping each night along the trail. Camp consists of dome tents with comfortable bedrolls of foam mattresses, linens, and a pillow. Because camp is set up and disassembled each night, this eco-friendly African safari camp’s accommodations are simple and authentic, but the experience makes it worth it since the Selinda Spillway won’t be around forever.
From Sand Rivers Selous, venture out with your guide on a walking safari in the bush to your campsite where you are greeted with a gourmet dinner and drinks around the campfire. Accommodations are minimal with mosquito net tents and bedrolls, but the thrill of sleeping in the bush more than makes up for any loss of luxury. Sounds of the bush will lull you to sleep as you gaze up at the stars through the roof of your tent.