Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Camping at Kasanka


In Africa?
Yes and yes.  When a tented chalet at the luxury lodge is $200-350 a night per person and tent camping at the same lodge is $10-20 it’s hard to pass up.   Typically, campers have access to the same amenities -- swimming pools, bar, restaurant and staff to help with everything from doing your dishes to setting up your tent.  We have brought back with us a good assortment of camping gear, including a great, Target car-camping tent and a incredibly comfortable queen size aerobed.  I pack my little Bialatti stovetop espresso for my little baby-baristas to fix lattes with in the morning and off we go.  
The lodge at a Wilderness Safari Camp. (note the italian espresso 
machine?  the wood fired pizza oven? the Weytlands decor's)

It’s a bit more involved than that b/c it’s still camping, but then’s not.  At one campsite they have gas-heaters for your own personal outdoor stone shower, flush toilets, running water, etc.  At another they send three staff your way throughout the day to see what you need -- help with the tent?  preparing your meal?  doing your dishes?  starting your fire? arranging for boat trips or game drives?  an armed guard patrolling the camp at night? I’d like to see that at Mount Ranier National Park! (well, maybe not the armed guard....that wouldn't go over well now would it.)
Camping at Kasanka was the most rustic of all our camping experiences, complete with strange insects (straight out of Dr. Seuss,) animal noises thru the night, murky shower water pulled from the river and a pit toilet.  In reality it was much more normal, much more like camping in the US.  

a fellow camper at Pontoon Camp in Kasanka National Park

If you see me wondering around Nehalem Bay State Park looking lost come August, whimpering ‘Eskari? ...Eskari?  ....Eskari?’  and wondering where is my (1) cold beer (2) hot shower and (3) spa appointment at least now you’ll know why.

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