Our preference might be five star resorts, but with the current climate forcing many to downsize their holiday spend, travellers are changing their habits.
Acacia Adventure Holidays has identified a new breed of “camping converts,” who are forgoing luxury for a more intrepid experience. When questioned 15% of their adventurers said that the ongoing credit crunch was behind their decision to camp, while over 70% of this group reported that they were now hooked on less extravagant holidays in Africa.
The feeling of being at one with the wildlife, getting off the beaten track and the sense of camaraderie were key factors in deciding to pitch a tent next time around.
Heath Ashcroft, Marketing Director for Acacia Adventure Holidays, comments: “Camping is not all rough and ready. Our four-day Call Of The Kruger Small Group Safari includes two full days of game viewing in the national park and the campsite comes with a pool, shop, restaurant and bar. The accommodation is close to the perimeter fences and it’s not unusual to hear the roar of a lion at night or chance upon a spotted genet at the evening barbeque.”
Best for Camaraderie: Think Glastonbury on safari, as the Ngorongoro campsite has room for up to 200 tents. Perfect for the young at heart in search of non-stop animal action, a short walk will leave you with excellent views of the caldera – buffalo and lion roaming through the rim woodlands. 24-day overland South East Adventure £845pp + local payment.
Best for getting off the beaten track: Wooden wind chimes are accompanied by rhythmic music, the ambient sounds drifting out across the Zambezi. An eco-camp which is described as a barefoot paradise – all the floors lined with white sand. Its thatched accommodations come complete with awe-inspiring river views where you can catch sight of the wildlife and each hut is built and maintained by the local community.
Solar power will still enable you to charge mobiles and the site even has a few network spots, but torches are required to get around at night. Facilities include communal toilets, beautiful reed showers, a laidback bar, hammocks, a library and a restaurant serving vegetarian dishes. The camp has links to a voluntour experience – travellers helping to construct a local school. Two days of adventure activities are also included in the trip. 6-day Community Schools Voluntour £510pp + local payment.
Best for wildlife action: Why stop when the game drive ends? In Etosha, described as the best reserve on the continent, adventurers can carry on wildlife viewing back at camp – the site famous for its floodlit waterholes. The landscape is dotted with graceful makalani palms – an elevated walkway taking you across the viewing area. Almost every animal is represented in this huge reserve: lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and springbok often making an appearance. 43-day overland Cape Town to Kenya £1,295pp + local payment.
Acacia Adventure Holidays; 020 7706 4700; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.acacia-africa.com. ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED.
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