Nothing conjures up the awe of sleeping in the African wilderness quite like a tented camp located under the trees and near a river

When most potential safari visitors to Africa think of a 'tented camp' the first things that spring to mind are small dome tents and sub-par service. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When choosing to stay in this style of accommodation, think of African explorer camps that Ernest Hemingway would have experienced in a bygone era. This is a luxury experience where camp operators construct semi-permanent camps offering many of the same services and amenities that you would find in a regular lodge.

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 the wild dog or the roar of a lion. It is exhilarating and invokes an awareness of truly being in the wilderness.

There are however a few things to note when considering mobile tented camp accommodation:

    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 about this experience.

    The dining is of a good quality, as camps will have permanent chefs and staff. However, the quality of dining cannot be compared to that of a fully equipped kitchen and serviced restaurant. The ambiance of dining under the open stars or in a mess tent makes up for this.

    Certain services cannot be offered with luxury mobile tented accommodation - hairdryers will not be available nor will full laundry services as most camps run electricity from generators or use solar power.

    Accommodation is normally made up of explorer style east African tents (often very large with full headroom, a double bed and a separate bathroom and restroom area) Shower water is heated on an outside fire (a 'donkey') and prepared for you by your camp assistant.

    In our opinion, it is a good idea to split your accommodation between permanent lodges, and the mobile camps (in this way you can experience the best of both environments)

    Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania are some of Africa's premier destinations offering mobile tented camping safaris.