Running a successful camp or lodge in Africa is a taxing and trying business by any means. Competition is high, tourist numbers are low and the local population can be pesky and troublesome what with their goats and lack of disposable income.
However after trawling a large cross section of lodge and camp websites in Africa over the past couple of years, according to the rules of the internet I hereby declare myself an expert on this matter and all scribblings here should be treated as gospel. I believe I have come up with a matrix, nay, a financial elixir of sorts that will have you raking in those tourist dollars in no time should you decide to go down this line of business. The points below can be applied both to your marketing and camp in equal measure.
There’s something in Kenya we often forget to appreciate; wherever you live in this great country you are never more than a stones throw from wilderness and wildlife. One minute you’re in a 1 hr traffic jam the next minute you’re stopping to let a herd of elephants cross the road (I know, problems right?). So when i recently needed a short one night camping trip, Mwea National Reserve ticked the right boxes.
The car was surrounded by a large family of around 30 elephants, the matriarchs worried that I am too close to their young ones. The young males charged the car, only to back off at the last minute. I wasn’t too worried though, I was not a threat to them and their mock charges were only meant to establish their dominance. I had been in Samburu National Reserve for only 30 minutes.