Camping adventures are to be defined by being outside and completely surrounded by nature, sleeping under the stars and sitting around the evening campfires and telling stories never to be forgotten – truly an amazing experience!
Together with my family, that operated a small safari operation, I had the privilege to experience guided camping adventures into the remote areas of Damaraland and Kaokoland. I can still remember the captivating stories told and this without a doubt, the reason why I ended up in tourism.
A few years ago, a group of my colleagues went camping with guests along the Ugab River near the Brandberg White Lady Lodge. As usual, they advised guests of all safety protocols when camping in nature and to be careful when they move around the campsite. In this very unique area, animals roam around freely and desert-adapted elephants are not a rare sighting.
It was just after sunset, when Christian, one of my colleagues working with the French market for almost 13 years, was busy preparing a bush dinner. He sensed there was something moving behind him and before he could turn around to see what caught his eye, he saw the camp assistant running for cover. Slowly turning around he saw a huge elephant bull strolling towards the kitchen table and as Christian started to move backwards, he realised that the elephant just wanted to drink water from the bush basin. Unfortunately the water was already prepared for washing hands and full of soap. With its sensitive smell the elephant quickly decided to leave without causing any damage to anyone or the camp setup. One can only imagine the animated conversations shared during dinner, it was hilarious and filled with so much laughter and excitement and definitely not ones to be forgotten.
Hearing these fun experiences and stories told by friends recall fond memories of my own camping tours.
A few years ago, Sense of Africa decided to invest in the French market and bought African Eagle. The responsibility of running this adventure department got put in my hands and finally the excitement was in reach.
Initially the camping tours offered were still focused on the African Eagle target market and as tours were continuously running, I’ve never had sufficient time to fully wrap my head around the operational aspects such as the equipment and skill set we needed to operate guided adventure travel on a group scale, let alone the courage to unlock the unlimited potential of what we can actually share with adventure travellers visiting Namibia.
Slowly growing confidence and gaining the understanding of the adventure product, from personally experiencing the African Eagle mobile camp set up at Spitzkoppe, I was eager to start offering this touring style to a broader audience.
With the outbreak of COVID, everything was halted abruptly and the tourism world as we know seem to change from one day to the other. Similar to my peers during this uncertain time, I try to avoid a cloud of negativity hanging above me, with new tasks and challenges such as home schooling and restrictions, it is essential to keep up a positive vibe within the family and keeping in mind the excitement of what adventures and experiences working in tourism can offer.
Namibia has so much remoteness and is perfectly suited for the social distancing requirements during the pandemic.
Once we were legally allowed back to work, the country was still locked down with no guests arriving. With little to nothing required operationally – no guides or coaches needed to be assigned. The time on hand naturally was plentiful and could be focused on the “fun” part of work. We could finally get our “hands dirty” and dig into our Adventure division by cleaning, sorting, rearranging and getting a proper overview of our equipment. Gaining an overview of what we have and the possibilities offered, made the theoretical perfecting of processes and procedures a bliss.
After sharing further experiences and knowledge from our adventure guides and technically savvy workshop staff, our operational experience from the touring side at Sense of Africa, we are now fully confident and believe that we are able to offer the most discerning traveller something different.
A fifteen day guided camping tour or even simply arranging a short experiential break from the customary nights of comfort on a lodge tour. By sleeping out under the stars for one night or setting up a special dinner venue. We can assure an unforgettable experience anywhere in Namibia that is hard to be emulate.
Now, more than ever to follow our mantra, which I have been mentored over the past years – to go out and just do it! If you are new to camping, but have minor reservations keeping you from following your desire to experience adventure into remote areas of Namibia, do not hesitate and let us take care of the entire planning, join us on an unforgettable journey!
Don’t be surprised when joining one of our camping adventure tours to meet me :)
I might be setting up your tent with comfortable stretchers and a mattress, a cuddly camping bedroll and your own washing basin. I’ll be the one happily assisting your guide and chef creating an unforgettable “night under the stars experience,” be it at setting up a remarkable sundowner spot or preparing a traditional three course dinner on the fire.
Namibia is truly an exceptional travel destination, and having the opportunity to share one of these “under the stars” adventure camping experiences with friends and family is just absolutely magical.