FIVE GOOD REASONS TO BOOK AT PLAINS CAMP
(home of Rhino Walking Safaris)
Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris) has filled a niche in the tourism market, providing specialist walking safaris in the Kruger National Park since 2002. South African National Parks offered the opportunity for guests to walk in the Kruger with armed guides in 1978. This proved to be a huge success in ensuing years, and Rhino Walking Safaris recognized the need for a similar opportunity to be offered to discerning clients wanting to be close to nature, but with more of a “glamping” feel.
At first, visitors were hesitant about walking, and about ‘camping’ too, but as word of mouth has spread, it has become a much sought after activity – the ultimate way to experience nature first hand. Walking safaris in general are very popular, and a number of lodges offer a short walk during the quieter part of the day (after breakfast or lunch), but for the enthusiasts, we recommend a full length safari, which very few lodges offer.
Below are 5 good reasons why you should consider Plains Camp for your walking safari:
When contemplating heading out into the bush on foot, in an area rich in game, including the somewhat infamous big 5, you want to know that you are in safe hands. Guides at Rhino Walking Safaris hold the highest possible academic and practical qualification for guiding on foot, and are backed up by assistant Trails Rangers with a lifetime of experience: we usually employ our assistant Trails Rangers from retiring SANParks Field Rangers, most of whom have spent almost all of their working lives patrolling the Kruger Park keeping a sharp eye out for signs of poaching, disease or unusual activity.
Most wilderness trails either involve carrying and pitching tents, or staying in a fairly basic base camp – with shared ablution facilities, simple meals and no bar facility (though you may bring your own drinks). At Plains Camp, we have established a well-appointed camp with large en-suite tents, comfortable extra-length beds and quality linens. An honesty bar (with soft drinks, beers, ciders and house wines included in the rate), and a plunge pool in which to cool off on a hot day just add to the ease of camp living. The chef prepares a hearty brunch, tasty high tee and three course dinner from fresh ingredients. Served at a table set with white linen, candles and silverware, this is the best way to end an exciting day in the bush.
With 12 000 hectares of unspoiled wilderness to explore (not previously accessible to the public – and currently only accessible to guests of Rhino Walking Safaris), there is very little to disturb you while on walk. The guides can choose to walk from the camp, or to drive out and walk from the vehicle – all without seeing any of the public visitors to the park.
There are different ‘layers’ to experiencing the bush. The first and most commonly done, is to go out on game drives looking for the bigger animals and changing landscapes. The second, for serious bush-lovers and connoisseurs – or those looking for a closer to nature experience – is that of seeing everything from the ground. Walking, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of nature – even tasting wild fruits, and learning about the little things sometimes missed while on drive; not to mention experiencing the thrill of seeing big game on foot. With a four hour morning walk and shorter late afternoon walk combined with a brief game drive, there is plenty of opportunity to get the most out of this experience.
Within 10kms of Plains Camp is Rhino Post Safari Lodge, lies Rhino Post Safari Lodge, the ideal place to start or end your walking safari – with in-room massages, a deep free-standing bath tub and an outdoor shower to ease you back into (or out of!) civilization. Game drives in this game rich area are usually very productive. Coming back to the ‘layers of experience’, the third layer of experience in the wild has got to be the opportunity to forsake it all, and sleep out on a raised deck (our Sleepout Decks) on a high density foam mattress with nothing but a soft duvet and sheer shade cloth between you and the stars. Consider booking this as an add-on for the more adventurous, and enjoy a meal cooked over an open fire by your guide.