Ker & Downey’s top 5 fly camping experiences in Africa get you close to nature.
What is Fly Camping?
‘Fly Camping’ is a term that originates from the early days of safaris. Hunters wishing to travel light would pack just the outer sheet of a tent – called a fly sheet – and string it up between trees for their shelter. The minimalist camping set up was meant to protect the safari-goers from sun and rain while they slept, rested, and ate and could be easily moved to their next stop on their safari.
Today the fly camping experience on safaris is a bit different. Your shelter might be an actual tent and bucket showers or just a mosquito net strung up over a bed roll, but it is every bit as adventurous as those early days of safaris, with the vast African night sky overhead and the sounds of animals in the distance to lull you to sleep.
Here are our top 5 Fly Camping experiences in Africa:
Norman Carr’s ‘Return to the Wild’ | Luwi River, Zambia
Norman Carr’s Return to the Wild overnight safari is one for the truly adventurous. Armed with a bedroll and a mosquito net, you set out from camp on foot with a guide and scout team to find the perfect spot in the Luwi dry river bed to make camp for the night. After a game rangers dinner around the campfire, you’ll retreat for the night to your bedroll laid out under your mosquito net.
At Ibo Island, fly camping is a totally different experience than those you’ll find on the mainland. Instead of a walking safari, you’re island hopping through the Quirimbas Archipelago to uninhabited islands in either a dhow or kayak where you’re able to snorkel and dive. At night, you’ll feast on fresh seafood and traditional cuisine over an open fire, and sleep on the tropical islands in mobile eco fly camps.
From Campi ya Kanzi, you’ll set out in the camp’s giraffe-spotted bush plane for a flight over soaring green hills, lava forests, and herds of wildlife before landing at the fly camping site located in the Motikanju Conservancy, a nature reserve free of human presence. The site is a tribute to a bygone era of safaris with hot bucket showers, kerosene lamps, and Maasai blankets to keep you warm at night.
Fly camping at Sasaab is one of the purest adventures you’ll find. It starts with a 4 – 5-hour walk taking in the sights and smells of the bush along the Ewaso Nyiro River to a campsite in the Samburu wilderness. Once there, you’ll spend the night chatting by the fire, enveloped by Kenya’s dazzling night sky and the sounds of the untamed wilderness before retiring to your mosquito net tent.
The fly camp at Okavango Horse Safaris is located in the remote southeast part of their private concession on the western side of the Okavango Delta. Arriving there feels like you are arriving at a permanent camp, but in fact, it moves depending on the game. It’s got bucket and pulley showers, a bush toilet, and beds draped in mosquito netting with views of the Qwaapo River and mopane forests. And nearby, there’s a wild dog den.
To add a fly camping experience to your next safari, contact your Luxury Travel Consultant.