Adventures

Mobile Safaris

"The old-school way of safari"

“The traditional safari way”

Imagine wild animals roaming around your camp at night whilst you safely sleep in a private canvas under the African skies – it’s a once in a lifetime experience and the traditional safari way! Camps are setup specifically for the group and moved for you to the next location as per the explorers of earlier days.

What is a mobile safari?

Our definition of a true mobile safari: A temporary canvas tented camp that is setup specifically for your safari and then dismantled when you depart, leaving no trace. Often times these mobile tented camps are able to be dismantled and moved to a new location quick enough that it can be done in half a day, allowing you to explore multiple areas over the course of a few days utilizing the same mobile camp and crew, such is the case in Botswana.

These multi-day itineraries where the camp is moved to new locations every day, or every few days, is where the true magic of a mobile safari lies – it’s a journey through the landscape! And if you didn’t already know, the word ‘safari’ translated from Swahili to English means ‘journey’ – so in our view a mobile safari is the purest form of a safari. Mobiles are the origin of the incredible safari experience!

It is worth noting that there are many different styles, variations and luxury levels of mobile safaris. Below is a list of our favourite with more specific details. Generally speaking, a mobile safari consists of large walk-in sized canvas tents with en-suite ‘bush bathrooms’ and proper beds. All the work of setting up and dismantling the camp, preparing food and general camp chores are carried out by a compliment of camp staff.

A mobile safari is not a ‘camping trip’ as most people fear it may be! It can become quite luxurious and very comfortable with large king-size beds, brass showers and flushing toilets etc. But herein lies the compromise with mobile safaris – the more luxurious and elaborate the camp becomes, the longer and more manpower it takes to move. So, our advice is to take the middle ground where you have everything you need and nothing you don’t (do you really need a chandelier and a brass bathtub while on safari?). If you can have a good night’s sleep, great food and a bush bathroom, then you have all the creature comforts you need to immerse yourself in the wilderness and enjoy the journey.

Why should I book a mobile safari?

A mobile safari is a fantastic experience in itself and is incredibly rewarding. As said before, it’s a real journey that sees you moving across Africa’s wild landscapes as a small group while sleeping in pristine wilderness areas, under the stars, with nothing more than a canvas tent separating you from the nature. But don’t worry, its perfectly safe as long as you keep the tent zipped up at all times.

Price wise, it can also often be a more affordable means to experience an extended ‘serviced’ safari as you are not paying for all those extra luxuries and infinity swimming pools. Instead you are paying just enough for the good service, the comfort and the access to these incredible locations. This is especially true if you aim for the mid-range mobile safaris – here the focus is very much on the safari experience while your basics of comfort are catered for. The 5-star luxury mobile safaris can become a bit more expensive as the logistical cost of moving such an elaborate camp can include a large team and heavy-duty trucks. So, there comes a price point when it may make more sense to rather consider a lodge-based safari, unless you are happy to pay for the novelty.

Essentially the main advantage of a mobile safari is that when you return to camp from an activity, your safari doesn’t stop – the camp itself, the tents and the wilderness setting are all part of the excitement of your safari. Whereas with a lodge-based safari it can be easy to step off the vehicle, connect to the lodges wifi and retreat to your air-conditioned room – totally retracting you from the African wilderness you travelled so far to experience. With a mobile safari you are on the ground and immersed into wild Africa from start to finish!

Related adventures

Mobile Walking Safari in South Luangwa National Park

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Liuwa Plains Mobile Safari

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Great Migration Mobile Camp, Serengeti

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Mobile Walking Safari Laikipia, Kenya

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Mobile Safari Busanga Plains Kafue

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Mobile Safaris Botswana

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