The private camp concept – of which a high proportion is mobile – is for many the way to travel. Specialist, distinctive, these modes of accommodation are considerable feats of the imagination – especially when one considers the logistics and facilities involved.
Take, for example, Pete Silvester’s Kenyan 4×4 Expedition Unit. We were fortunate enough to travel to northern Kenya with Pete in 2005. His reputation as a guide and facilitator of adventurous, low impact safaris precede him. He is president and CEO of Royal African Safaris, and he is the founding chairman of the Kenyan Professional Safari Guide Association. Pete’s pride and joy is a revamped and specially configured 101 Land rover whose trailer, when relieved of its carrying duties, unfolds to form, on one side, a beautiful and well-stocked bar, and, on the other, a fully functioning kitchen.
Different, but equally attractive, is the private canvas arm of Lowis and Leakey. Ninian Lowis is one of the finest guides in Africa, and was a senior partner in Ker and Downey Safaris before going into business with his wife, Lara Leakey. Their mobile safaris take place in purpose-built tents, and the itineraries are the result of daily client-guide discussions. The safaris are powered by an extremely experienced crew, ‘an extension of the Lowis family’, and camps are set and struck while clients are out viewing game, or on a well earned lodge break.
Visionary, and unrelenting in its pursuit of genuine adventure, the private camp is safari going of the very highest order.