“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – African Safari 2

Staying at Nomad Camps

No, we weren’t hosted by nomadic herders. Nomad is a safari company and their camp accommodations are referred to as “luxury tented camps.” I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant and was frankly a bit leery. I did my online research and had seen photos that looked good. Still, I was rather concerned about things like “dirt toilets,” “bucket showers,” and food cooked using native methods and ingredients — everyone knows I’m a picky eater.

But these camps deserve the term “luxury.” Most had 6 tents, allowing a total of 12 guests. Every camp has at least 14 staff members to attend to the guests’ needs and did their utmost to make our stay memorable and comfortable. The camp managers run a very tight camp to assure that every need is met, usually before you even think to ask. And the managers do so much more! Like the captain of a cruise ship, they have to be on top of everything and still find the time and energy to be a good host to their guests. And they do it without fail.

Living in tents turned out to be splendid. This isn’t camping out at the state park! The sleeping tents are very spacious with lovely twin beds — not cots! — all enclosed with mosquito nets, of course. There’s a separate sitting area for reviewing the days’ photos, reading up on tomorrow’s activities and catching up your travel journal. There’s a separate shower area and toilet area (more about these later). The furnishings are in keeping with the setting and the details and accessories are all elegantly simple – beautifully-crafted pitchers for your water, great rugs under your feet, locally crafted and polished wooden furniture, everything so much more comforting than I had imagined.

The rest of the camp was made up of tents for various other purposes. The dining tent was large and furnished with fine linens, dishes and glassware on polished hardwood tables all forming a lovely setting for the food I’ll talk about soon. There’s also a “library tent” where the guests’ gather in the evening to relax over drinks – alcoholic or otherwise — on comfortable chairs and sofas. We all swap stories about our days’ adventures or chat about home or play cards and other games until the need for sleep overtakes us.