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HomeTravel news and articlesWild camps – Get right up close to Africa

Wild camps – Get right up close to Africa

03 June, 2018
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Ikoma Wild Camp

Dream of going on safari in Africa?

Then enjoy the ultimate experience with a stay at a wild camp where you get even closer to nature!

What is a wild camp?

wild camp

A wild camp is a camp located in the heart of the wilderness. The camp typically consists of a number of tents that function as rooms as well as a mess tent (dining tent). Sometimes the tents are spread out over a larger area, so you can barely see your neighbour’s tent – other times they are closer together – often arranged in a semicircle around the mess tent.

The term “wild camp” is typically used in Tanzania. At other destinations, in South Africa and Kenya for example, the term camp, tented camp or something similar is used.

There are several different types of wild camps. Some are permanent while others are mobile.

When a camp is mobile it means that it can be moved. This may be a requirement of the authorities, and it helps ensure that the natural pastures of the animals are not overly disturbed, and that the nature surrounding the camp has a chance to regenerate before the next camp is set up.

The tents in a wild camp

Ikoma Wild Camp

A wild camp always consists of free-standing tents. Each tent is a room. The walls, roof, doors and windows consist of canvas.

In some places, the tents are on raised platforms, elevating them above the ground. This is often (but not always) the case when it is a permanent camp. In such camps, you have your own wooden terrace – often with a beautiful view.

In the mobile camps, the tents are on the ground. You still have your own “veranda”, just at ground level and with a canvas canopy to provide a little shade from the sun. There are mosquito nets on all the doors and windows in the tents, and the tents are standing height.

The beds

Bed in Ngorongoro Wild Camp

The tents are large, with ample space for at least one large double bed and a couple of chairs. Some tents are even large enough for four single beds and can sleep a whole family.

All tents have duvets, pillows and extra blankets. Nights can be chilly in Africa.


toilet in wild camp

All tents have their own shower and toilet.

If the camp is mobile, the “bathroom” also consists of canvas walls and a canvas ceiling. The “door” to the bathroom is canvas, but it is fitted with a standard toilet, washbasin and shower with both hot and cold running water.

If the camp is NOT mobile, there may be brick walls in the bathroom and a proper door that you can close.

The food

Serengeti Wild Camp dining tent

Mobile camps often have a mess tent, while permanent camps sometimes have a restaurant building where you eat.

The food is cooked at the camp. Some of it is cooked on the stove/gas burner and some on the bonfire, but because there is electricity, there is also a fridge.


There is power at a wild camp.

There is light in all the tents. In some places, it is only possible to charge your electrical appliances in the mess tent, but it is always possible to charge your mobile phone, and there is light in both the tent and the bathroom.

Is it dangerous to stay at a wild camp?

No, it’s not dangerous to stay at a wild camp.

In many places, the camp is in the middle of the animals’ “pantry”, so of course you have to bear this in mind.

It’s not unusual to see both antelopes and giraffes close to the camp. And where there are antelopes, there may also be lions and hyenas, so you shouldn’t wander too far away from your tent. However, the guides and staff know the area and the animals very well and ensure that nothing happens.

You are not allowed to walk around alone in the camp in the evening. There are guards to accompany you to your tent when you want to go to bed – they also have torches, so you can find the zip of your tent!

Buffaloes and elephants may wander through the camp at night, but they never go into the tents. The animals don’t know that people are sleeping inside the tents. As far as they are concerned, the tents are just a construction they have to walk around to get to their waterhole/prey/favourite tree/mate/young.

Why should you stay at a wild camp?

Ikoma Wild Camp in Tanzania

You travel to Africa to see the animals and nature. To hear the lions roar, to smell the buffaloes and to feel the breeze in your hair.

You get all that at a wild camp!

It’s wonderful waking up in the middle of the night and hearing the lions roar in the distance or feeling the buffaloes making the ground shake as they stomp through the camp.

When the sun sets in Africa, it soon gets chilly. You feel this through the canvas – just as you feel the first rays of the morning sun, and hear the birds chirping more and more loudly as the sun rises.

The sense of anticipation you feel as you unzip the tent in the morning and look out to see if you can see any animal tracks in the sand outside your tent is almost better than Christmas Eve!

You should stay at a wild camp because you want to FEEL, SMELL and HEAR Africa.

Wild camp or safari lodge?

At Serengeti in Tanzania, you can choose to stay at a wild camp – or you can choose to stay at a lodge.

At the lodge, the rooms are in their own cabin, which actually also partly consists of canvas walls and roof. However, the walls are also partially bricked, and the rooms at the lodge resemble an ordinary hotel room. The bathrooms have bathtubs and proper glass windows. There is also a pool and spa – you don’t find this at a wild camp.

You are still close to nature at the lodge – the view from your private veranda is phenomenal. You are just surrounded by a little more luxury.

Do you have any questions about wild camps?

Wild camp Tanzania
Do you have any questions about staying at a wild camp?

Then you are always welcome to contact our travel consultants.

Africasafari.co.uk – Get even closer!

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