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By Emma 29 June 2016

A night under the African sky

Fly camping takes sleep-outs to a whole new level. Think camp fire, think bush dinner, think lying under a four-poster bed mosquito net or in a boma-type enclosure seeing the Milky Way like you've never seen it before… this is what fly camping is all about. Yes, it may take you away from the comfort of your luxury lodge or tent and the safety net of mobile phones, laptops, and Wi-Fi, but this is an experience hard to top! 

To me, fly camping is getting back to basics and experiencing Africa at its authentic best. You get to enjoy watching the sun set, witnessing the night come alive with the nocturnal wildlife, falling asleep to the beat of Africa's bush, then waking up with the first light of dawn to witness a brand new day unfolding!

Where to go fly camping

The style of fly camping very much depends on your location. In Kenya’s Laikipia region it is a case of enjoying uninterrupted views of the African sky. Here, you bring out your bedroll, a mattress and bedding all rolled up inside a canvas bag, and sleep out under the night’s sky in a makeshift boma enclosure built around you. Places like Zambia's South Luangwa and Tanzania’s Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous), however, get you as close to nature as possible! These fly camps are often set up in dry river beds with a super-comfortable mattress and net over the top, four poster bed style.

Recommended camps to experience fly camping

What all camps have in common is the noises of the night. Whether it be lions roaring or hyenas whooping or crickets chirping… there is nothing that can compare to a night fly camping in Africa's pristine wilderness! The food is out of this world (no mean feat considering it is cooked over the campfire), the wine is always flowing, and the stories shared among fellow travellers always lend extra thrills. Altogether, this experience is nothing short of exceptional. Nothing quite beats waking up at first light, sitting around the campfire, and enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee while you watch and listen to Africa waking up around you! 

Nevertheless, I will be the first to admit that fly camping isn't for everyone. If you cannot bear to be without your creature comforts and luxury lodges, then this activity is not for you. But if you have an adventurous spirit and you love the thought of sitting around the campfire and immersing yourself in nature, fly camping is pretty much perfection. I, for one, never need to be asked twice if I want to head out into the middle of nowhere for a night around the campfire and under the African sky!

Here are my Top Five Fly Camping Experiences. Some have been tried and tested, while others are on my list of must-dos:

If you are interested in fly camping or want more information on an adventurous camping safari, feel free to contact us on 020 8547 2305 or send us an email at [email protected].

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