Tanzania Safari Fly-Camps
Fly Camping seems to have been perfected in the southern parks of Tanzania, including the Selous and Ruaha, although it is now possible to do a walking safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater areas, sleeping in basic fly-camps among the great migration. This allows you to get away from the crowds and explore areas off-limits to vehicles.
Below are some of our favorite Tanzania Fly Camp options.
Sand Rivers Selous Fly Camp
Tanzania was some of the first to start the idea of “fly-camping”, sleeping out in the wilderness using just a mosquito net and camping mattress on the ground. Generally, in an open area, either open grassland or a dry riverbed with a campfire in the middle and the sleeping units around the fire. The guides, rangers, and other walkers take turns doing the night shift, making sure the fire does not go out and that there are no animals creeping around. This tradition has continued for the more adventurous, and Sand Rivers Selous in the Selous Game Reserve is one of the best at doing this.
If you really want to connect with the rawness of nature, sleep under millions of stars and hear the sounds of the animals around you, then this is definitely the sort of thing you will love. You head out from camp, walking with your guide. The further you go, you the more remote it makes the experience feel. At some point you come across camp for the night, which consists of a mosquito net with 4 poles and a mattress on the ground. Simple camp table and chair is setup, a fire is lit, and the experience starts. There is a bucket shower and camp toilet for guests to share. Excellent quality food is cooked on the open fire and dinner is eaten under the stars.
After dinner guests sit around the campfire chatting about the experiences from the last few days of safari in Tanzania. Retire to your bedroll for the night and fall asleep under the stars with the sounds of Africa in the distance. The following morning enjoy breakfast in the riverbed before returning to the camp for your morning activity.
This is an adventurous activity but is something we love here at Stanley Safaris. This is as authentic and raw as you can get.
Chada Katavi Fly-Camp
Known for its vast open grasslands, Katavi is perfect for walking and fly camping and there is no better camp to do it from, than Chada Katavi. A team is set ahead of you to set up the camp and get a fire going, so when you arrive, just before sunset, everything is ready.
Guests depart Chada Katavi on foot walking for a couple of hours before arriving at camp. Camp is set up out on the open plains or under a shady tree in this vast wilderness. Sit around the fire enjoying a G&T or ice-cold beer before having dinner under the stars and finally heading to bed. The camp consists of mosquito net suspended on poles and with a camp mattress on the ground. As your eyes get accustomed to the light, you will be surprised as to how much you start to see and hear.
There is always an armed guide with you who will make sure the fire stays lit and that there are no animals creeping up on you in the darkness. With so few camps and people visiting Katavi, you will feel like you have the whole 1-million-acre wilderness to yourself. Leave as much as you can back at the main camp including your worries and any thoughts of work or home. This is as far away from your everyday as you can possibly get, and that is what makes this experience even more incredible.
Now, this is the sort of camp setup that gets us excited at Stanley Safaris. This is for us the real luxury, the real way to explore Africa and the real way to feel part of the wilderness. Nothing fancy or over the top, but all the comforts you need to make you feel at home. The emphasis here is on the experience of being in nature, the experience of being in Africa and the experience of being in one of the remotest parts of Tanzania. Their 2 styles of camp will suit different guests, but in essence this is what we love about Africa. We highly recommend combining their 2 camps in the same trip to get the best out of this incredible experience.
The Frontier Camp is a more comfortable camp with large walk-in tents and proper beds with a rustic camp bathroom consisting of a short-drop loo and bucket shower. With just 3 tents and a maximum of 8 guests allowed in camp, the focus here is on personal service and incredible experiences. There is a large mess tent where guests enjoy their meals.
A little rawer and rustic, the Untamed Camp is for more of the adventurous. With walk-in Dome Tents and camp beds, each of the 3 tents has its own ensuite loo and bucket shower a few steps away. The focus here is on mobility and the ability to move camp and explore the deeper reaches of the Ruaha National Park.
Our recommendation is to combine both camps to get the best experience. Start at the Frontier Camp and after a couple of nights you walk about 13kms to the Untamed Camp for another couple of nights. Enjoying walking safaris and exploring the area from each of the camps will be a highlight of your Tanzanian Safari.
The focus from both camps is on walking and exploring the incredibly diverse areas of Ruaha National Park. Ruaha is an untamed wilderness with few camps and lodges, which makes this the perfect style of camp for this wild national park.
Wayo Walking Camps, Serengeti
Wayo walking Fly camps are basic camps in the heart of the southern Serengeti and form part of the mobile walking safari from the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti. It is also the style of a camp used for walking safaris in the Southern Serengeti while the migration is there during calving season. The light camps are easy to move and are perfect for walking safaris.
The tents are nylon mountain tents with mattresses on the floor with a sleeping bag and linen provided. There is a long drop loo nearby and a bucket shower under the stars. Dining is under the stars, but there is a mess tent if the weather turns.
These small tents mean you are able to really get off the beaten track away from the crowds and really explore deep into the Serengeti. Being among the migration on foot is something not many people get to experience. This is a truly adventurous experience, but here at Stanley Safaris, that is exactly what we are about. Mixing the luxury of the permanent camps with the adventure of the fly camps makes the perfect Tanzanian Safari.
Alex Walker Serian Fly-Camp
Alex Walker Serian is one of the best guides left in Africa today and has mastered the mobile, walking safari camp throughout the Serengeti. Spend your days walking through the grasslands of the Serengeti while your fly-camp is moved to a new location, so by the time you get there everything is setup and ready for you. The location of the fly-camp depends on you, depends on the location of the wildebeest migration and depends on whether you are combining this experience with a stay in one of their permanent camps in a similar area, but traditionally they are in the quieter areas of the Serengeti National Park.
The Alex Walker Serian Fly Camps can be done for a night as part of the experience from one of their other camps, or you can do 2, 3 or 4 nights, focusing on walking and getting deeper into the Serengeti away from the crowds. Walking into camp in the late afternoon as the sun starts to sink below the horizon and being welcomed with an ice-cold G&T is probably the best way to arrive into any camp.
The camp is simple yet has a character from a by-gone era. Two colonial style tents make up the camp. One is a chill-out tent with scatter cushions to relax on, while the second is the bedroom, complete with mattress and thick duvets. There is a bucket shower with hot water heated on the fire and a long-drop style toilet.
After settling into camp, there will be a fire and more G&Ts for guests to enjoy while watching the sun set. Dinner is cooked on the open fire and served right there under the stars. As these camps are completely private, you have the feeling of having the whole Serengeti to yourself, although with no fences though often you will have wild visitors coming through camp.
Having the feeling of the Serengeti to yourself is priceless and this is exactly what you get by staying at one of Alex Walker Serian’s fly-camps in the heart of the Serengeti.