Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loitering Within Tent

For the last twenty years I've seen camping as something about as enjoyable as a visit to the dentist. All that fiddling with tent poles, pegs and ropes makes my blood run cold and I always seem to have a couple of bits left over once the tent is erected, which worries me so much that I can't get to sleep - even in the unlikely event that I manage to find a comfortable, rock free spot to lie on.

Then there's the cooking. Why is that camp fires take several hours to boil a pot of water and only about thirty seconds to turn a plump pink sausage to charcoal? Amazing isn't it?

That's why I loved my recent Wilderness Dawning "Best of Botswana" tour. Sure it's camping, but it's camping with the painful bits removed. Each evening you arrive at your beautiful bush camp and are welcomed by a blazing fire. Your 3 x 3 metre tents are already set up complete with camp beds, sheets, blankets, soft pillows and a warm, fluffy duvet. There are proper pedestal toilets and hot bucket showers, and best of all your dinner is being cooked for you. All you have to do is sit around the fire with a glass of your favourite 12 year old single malt and talk about the day's experiences. You don't even have to wash up. Now that's camping!

Your day starts at 5.45am with a cheery "Good morning" as the camp attendant pours steaming hot water into the canvas basis outside your tent. Toast and coffee around the fire follows and then you're off on a 3 to 4 hour game drive. A hot brunch is served when you return and the afternoon is yours to do whatever you wish - sleep, read, wash out your socks..........

Coffee and biscuits are served at about 3pm and then you're off on the afternoon game drive for a couple of hours. Meanwhile back at camp the chef is preparing your dinner for when you return. It's a rhythm you soon get used to and although it's a delicious treat to have a hot bath in a hotel at the end of the trip and to sleep in a proper bed, you find that you miss the mysterious night noises of the bush and the peaceful early morning cup of coffee around a crackling log fire.

Wilderness Dawning's 14 day "Best of Botswana" tour starts from $US2975 per person twin share. Their 10 day "Highlights of Botswana" tour starts from $US2600 per person twin share.

For more details contact Peter Emery at Ucango Travel on
0449 689 447 or email peter.emery@ucango.com.au.

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