Family Camping Safaris- An Affordable Vacation
My first camping experience was as a girls scout (Girl Guide) in high school at the Rowallan camping site located opposite at The Jamhuri Park. That bug has been with me since. Camping can be quite affordable for that well deserved family vacation. The memories will be your with your children and family for a long time to come.
Preparation is very important, poor planning can make the experience one that would ruin the entire vacation. There are hundreds of camping sites around Kenya. It’s possible to camp in most of our parks. All you need is a good tent, a few utensils, a sleeping bag, insect repellent to be used in the night, warm clothing and an adventurous spirit. Did I mention food? Well, your family has to eat hence you need the food. Ensure your foods are lightly packed. Dry foods are ideal. (We will discuss this on another post on ideal foods for a camping trip).
Here are a few tips to prepare you and your Family :-Pick an ideal camp site:
Kenya has several commercial camping grounds that are well serviced. Most of them have clean drinking water, clean bathrooms and showers that have cold and hot water. A majority of the camps are located along the shores of Lake Naivasha. A few have swimming pools hence adding to the adventure and ideal for family get aways.
Other places where one can enjoy a camping holiday are at the The Shimba National reserve, the camp is managed by the Kenya wildlife Service. Ensure you call well in advance and place booking with the warden. How about camping in the coast, The Tsavo? This is equally an ideal holiday idea for your family. Try it!
Once your family has experienced the various commercial camping sites one could then try camping at the Mount Kenya, Mount Longonot, The Aberdares among others.
What to Carry
Wherever across Kenya that one plans to take their family, the following items are recommended for your camping family holiday:-
A tent: Tents come in all shapes, colour and material. There are various shops that stock camping tents. Nakumatt stores has quite some affordable tents that one can sample. It would be ideal to get children their own tent. They would be happy to enjoy their own space.
A Sleeping bag: You need to be comfortable as you camp. One may also acquire a light camping mattress if need be.
A torch: Most camp sites have just enough lighting at necessary locations. A good torch / or flash light comes in handy in the night.
Cooking Utensils: Your children may not have experience cooking in open fire (three stones). Consider carrying suitable cooking utensils for this adventure. However some campsites have restaurants within their facilities hence you may not need to cook. On the other hand, engaging children in preparation and cooking in the open is part of adventure. Some camp site has utensils too for hire.
Firewood: Commercial camp sites have firewood; however some campsite may not have firewood hence remember to carry your own. A camping saw will come in handy to enable you get ideal firewood.
Drinking Water : Just in-case there is no clean drinking water
A First Kit : Accidents may occur especially where children are involved hence a well equipped kit is necessary.
Finally, a carefully planned family camping safari coupled by an adventure spirited family will definitely grant you a lovely and memorable camping experience.