Want to capture the essence of real Africa? A mobile camp in the Serengeti National Park's vast wilderness has to be one of the best experiences available. Here Cornelius Mukus, an expert guide at Serengeti Safari Camp, shares how and why to experience this most traditional of East African safaris.
I’m lucky enough to have been a guide for the camp since its early pioneering days in the 1990s. Our Serengeti Safari Camp was the first of its kind, bravely designed to shadow the wildebeest migration on its epic annual journey across the Serengeti National Park. Since its inception, very little has changed and our team of guides, many of whom have been with us since the very beginning, are still here in the midst of the Serengeti action every day. And it’s being in the midst of that action that makes this little camp so special.
Mobile Camps Change Location 5 Times a Year, Not Daily
Serengeti Safari Camp may be a little more cumbersome than in the past, catering to the demand for more creature comforts, and its movements not quite as flexible, but we use our two decades of experience to pick the best possible sites to be within reach of camp. Our camp changes location around five times per year, so it won't actually move while you're staying with us.
Weather patterns are often unpredictable which means the wildebeest don’t follow the rule book (and we endearingly refer to the herds as a ‘confusion’ of wildebeest). In years of extreme patterns we try and move the camp from its planned position, but when not possible we simply enjoy the game that is within reach of camp. At the very best of times, when all goes according to plan, our camp is surrounded by a melee of mooing ungulates and guests merely have to zip back their canvas tent openings at day break to find the plains beyond graced with wildebeest and zebra.
I am truly blessed to have the wilderness of the Serengeti as my “office” – in this line of work there is no such thing as an average day. A day on safari from Serengeti Safari Camp is rarely predictable, often surprising, always exciting, taking advantage of its stunning location and prime access to the best wildlife Africa has to offer. Red Letter Days where everything comes together - vast herds covering the plains as far as the eye can see, topped off with an incredible predator sighting, are the obvious prize and no amount of superlatives can do the experience justice. Often the best way to experience situations like these is simply to stop the vehicle and sit in exhilarated silence, trying to take it all in. But just as special as A-list game sightings is the perfect solitude; whatever you witness on your game drives, you’ll most often be the only vehicle present.
And so to camp… while location is key, we don’t exactly forgo creature comforts at Serengeti Safari Camp. You can be assured of great food, good service, a comfortable bed and a hot shower (the safari-style bucket shower). We have just 6 guest tents, all with en suite bathrooms (and before you ask… toilets are eco-friendly flush style). Our camp fire is one of the main attractions of camp – the perfect stage for guests and guides to exchange tales of adventure. And after dinner, all that’s left to do is head off to your tent, zip up the hatches, and enjoy the soporific sounds of the African bush.