‘Glamping,’ is a relatively recent travel term, which swept the travel industry and can be defined as ‘glamorous camping.’ In short, glamping encompasses a luxurious to experience the outdoors and wilderness destinations. Camping if you like, minus the baked beans, sleeping bags, having to battle with your tent poles or wonder off into the woods in the early hours with a shovel and toilet roll in hand!
Ironically the concept of glamping is far from new, but rather developed as early as the very first tourists to visit the African continent in the early 20th century. ‘Safari’ is a Swahili word, derived from the Arabic word ‘safariyah,’ meaning a journey, and became used primarily in English as a game-viewing trip to Africa.
The early African safaris were the very embodiment of glamping and the early 20th century arguably saw the peak of the African safari on such epic proportions. Safari was a massive under taking, involving months of planning, pack animals, literally hundreds of porters and a single safari lasted for many months at a time. Every luxury was considered and carried along. Personal butlers were on hand at all times, midday rests were obligatory and dinners very formal affairs involving crystal glasses, champagne and the finest food and of course dress was black tie! All the comforts of home were available despite the often harsh and very remote locations in which the guests found themselves.
Thankfully today a visit to Africa is not as big an undertaking as it was in the 1920’s and doesn’t require a black tie at dinner! Donald Ker and Sydney Downey, two men raised during the height of the colonial safari era, founded ‘Ker & Downey Safaris’ in Kenya in 1946. The traditions of these early safaris remain very much a focus of the company’s identity today, experiencing the unique Botswana wilderness from classical and luxurious camps ‘under canvas.’
Okuti, a Trip Advisor, Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner, is a truly unique safari destination, as it is far more than a simple ‘African safari camp.’ Okuti was designed to allow guests a taste of the rich culture within Botswana, beautifully complimenting the incredible wildlife of the surrounding Moremi Game Reserve and Okavango Delta. Thatch, reeds, raw wood and hand plastered walls all take their inspiration from Botswana’s rural life. The camp is decorated with contrasting images and décor from throughout the country, celebrating the nation’s many faces, from the modern to the rural. The distinctive ‘mosasas’ (house of reeds), are situated along the Moanachira River, and combine artwork and luxurious fittings and furnishings, with the charm of the traditional houses found throughout the country.
Okuti offers a blend of spectacular wildlife, vibrant Botswana culture, and classic luxury, all set in the extraordinary Okavango Delta. Glamping, while over 100 years old, seems to be aging well!
For more detailed information see Okuti (http://www.kerdowneybotswana.com/our-camps/okuti/)
For sample itineraries see The Ker & Downey Botswana Safaris (http://www.kerdowneybotswana.com/our-safaris/ker-downey-botswana-safari/)