Camping holidays – good or bad?

It seems like in post-Covid times we might be doing our holidays a little bit differently – so they say. Maybe closer to home and in a tent. Now my thought on that is that everyone (well almost everyone) has a camping period in their lives. This usually happens when the kids are small and heading off in a tent somewhere seems to be the easiest option. Mmm not sure whose idea that was. Camping with small kids can be difficult. Add into the mix a good dose of Africa to liven things up and hey – we’ve got a party.

Yes camping in Africa has a whole new element to it to take into account. If you go somewhere remote enough you have to take all your food with you – unless you happen to be on the coast and then you can fish or catch crayfish. You have to remember to take precautions of course – remember to secure your campsite before you leave for the beach. Not because of human intruders but those pesky monkeys. They are so smart they get into anything and can easily rip the lid of any old tupperware. Be warned!

If you happen to be camping in the game reserve then a whole lot more precautions come to mind. Number one for me – go for a pee right before you go to sleep because the simple camping we did was in a two man tent and the toilet was a good walk away. You don’t want to be doing that on your own in the middle of the night. You never know what you will come across or who you might bump into. Oh hello Mr Lion. Actually we should be more afraid of bumping into Mrs Lion as she does all the hunting. And really it would be more dangerous probably to run into a hippo in the night. They are incredibly fast you know. They don’t look it. BBC – Ungainly as it is, the hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth. And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.

It also seems that tents are curious things to many animals. We experienced this too. The odd jackal pulling at the guy ropes while his cousins (?) the hyenas have a huge fight next to the camp fire over the left over bones from our dinner. I wonder what the jackal was looking for – or maybe he was just curious. Maybe the hyenas wouldn’t let him join in the fun so he decided to see if the humans would come out to play.

But there are maybe types of tents and many variations of camping – hence the new buzz word – glamping. Now I can definitely handle this without a problem.

Getting away from it all in the middle of the Grumeti Game Reserve Tanzania
OK – I am fine with this type of camping

So I think I can say with some certainty that I have graduated from the 2 man tent to something a little grander. Mind you – at the moment with the amount of cabin fever going on I might just settle for a small tent with basic facilities in the middle of nowhere … well … maybe not!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Thanks for sharing Lesley! What great memories you have of camping in Africa & what adventurous & brave parents you had! One of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite movies ever “Out of Africa” is when they go “camping” I think I could handle that!! (;


  2. Since you mentioned camping in Africa, I had my best camping memory in Tanzania. We (2couples) had 5 days of Bivouac Tenting in 3 different camp sites. It was a little rough getting use to it at first (I am usually a hotel/motel type), but the experience was incredible. We enjoyed our camp fire under a blanket of stars and listened to the howling of the hyenas and the noise of the migrating wildebeests. They were so close to our tents.

    Best of all we had a wonderful camp cook that cooked us delicious meals.


    1. Oh I love that story – I can almost smell the woodsmoke of the camp fire. Africa is very special and nothing quite like eating a meal out in the bush around a real fire with the sound of the animals all around. Now that’s REAL camping!


  3. Thank you, Lesley, for sharing your camping in Africa experience. I camp in the Rockies with no fear but opted for the glamping experience in Africa. It was wonderful in Tanzania, saw lots of the animals, including the big five, and slept well inside our glamped up “tent”. One of my most memorable adventures!


  4. This is so cool! You are so lucky! I wish I could visit Tanzania! Thank guess gloves and sanitizer will be with us forever…even in camping.

    One day I’ll see Africa. One day.

    Thanks for sharing!


  5. I haven’t camped in Africa, but my fiance did and said it was fabulous. He went a week long safari and saw so many animals. I hope in the future to go back with him and partake of the adventure. He said the only drawback was the long flight over and back. 16 hours with a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam. Thanks for the post.


    1. Oh you will love it for sure. Yes the flight is long but my favourite route is definitely via Amsterdam. I really don’t like the long layover in London. It’s worth it at the end. Africa is certainly a very special place. Hopefully you will get there to enjoy it yourself. Stay well

      Liked by 1 person

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