Wilderness camps are situated in remote and pristine wilderness areas of Africa, making them ideal for travellers seeking wide-open spaces to explore and go on safari. At Wilderness, the term ‘Little’ refers to their smaller, more intimate camps – consisting of three to six tents only. These smaller camps are well suited to families or small travel groups wishing to book sole use of a camp.
Here are seven camps where you can have an intimate African experience while not being over-run by the crowds.
Wilderness Little DumaTau – Linyanti, Botswana
Botswana has a bouquet of camps that are ideal for small groups looking for an exclusive-use lodge. Little DumaTau is a delightful addition to internationally acclaimed DumaTau and comprises four suites, spot-on for privacy and small groups.
Both camps are located on the banks of Osprey Lagoon within the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. The area is a haven for wildlife – and with uninterrupted views of the lagoon, you’re privy to phenomenal wildlife sightings – particularly great herds of elephants that cross the channel and are often seen contentedly munching away nearby.
Each of Little DumaTau’s spacious suites has a lounge, private plunge pool, and bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers. The camp also shares a new wellness centre and gym with DumaTau, as well as a shaded deck, lap pool, spa, snack deli and Safari Boutique store.
Wilderness Little Mombo – Okavango Delta, Botswana
It’s called the ‘Place of Plenty,’ and for good reason. Wilderness Mombo and its sister camp, Wilderness Little Mombo, situated on the northern tip of Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta, are considered to be set in one of the best areas for game viewing in Africa.
The floodplains in front of camp are regularly filled with fabulously photogenic mixed species, from large lechwe herds to zebras, giraffes and elephants (the latter often pay a visit to the camp plunge pools in summer).
Connected by a raised boardwalk, Mombo is a bigger camp with eight guest rooms while Little Mombo has just four suites that are tucked away on the other side of the same island. Having just four tents, Little Mombo is ideal for small groups. Each suite includes a dining and bar area, lounge and plunge pool. Enjoy exploring this productive area on twice-daily game drives, or take a scenic helicopter flip for a jaw-dropping aerial perspective.
Jao Villas – Okavango Delta, Botswana
Awarding-winning Jao has two exclusive villas and five suites. The villas are ideal for families and friends – each accommodating four people in two identical guest rooms – the villas have their own main area and access to an exclusive vehicle, guide, chef and butler. All suites also have a private plunge pool, en-suite bathrooms, and a lounge and dining area.
Situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Jao brings you up close to the many wonders of the Okavango, with a range of activities that include mokoro rides, boating, game drives and bird watching. If you are longing to experience the Okavango Delta with family or friends, then Jao’s Villas are ideal for this – and you’re in for a life-enriching adventure.
Linyanti Tented Camp – Linyanti, Botswana
Taking you back up north, Linyanti Tented Camp is found in a profoundly remote area of the Linyanti Private Reserve. Preserving the original spirit of safari and early explorers, the camp’s four airy, en-suite tents recreate the accommodation of Africa’s intrepid pioneers.
Overlooking the Linyanti Marsh and floodplains, guests are introduced to an important elephant corridor. And with access to floodplains, open dry-land savannah, lagoons, and woodland, the wildlife experience is sublime. A diversity of plains game and their predators – lions, wild dogs, leopards, hyaenas – thrive here.
Adventures include both day and night game drives, as well as bush walks. Thrilling helicopter rides, often showcasing the enormous elephant populations scattered across the immense landscape, can also be booked. End your soulful days sharing wholesome meals on your private deck and storytelling around the campfire.
Wilderness Little Ruckomechi – Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Travellers to Zimbabwe will love Wilderness Little Ruckomechi, a lovely safari camp comprised of just four tents on the banks of the Zambezi River, on the western boundary of Mana Pools National Park. With views over this great river, and exceptional wildlife – especially elephants moving through camp to feed on the albida trees – Little Ruckomechi is a wonder for the senses.
Activities allow for adventures on both land and water. Explore the area on daily game drives or opt for a boat or canoe ride on our stretch of Africa’s longest east-flowing river. Guided bush walks in the company of an experienced walking guide are a must-do, and offer yet another wonderful way to get up close to the thrilling wilderness of Mana Pools National Park.
This stylish camp evokes the romance of a bygone explorer era, with elegant en-suite rooms. The main area consists of a living area, dining room and plunge pool, all with exceptional views of the river frontage and Zambian escarpment in the distance.
Wilderness Busanga Bush Camp – Kafue National Park, Zambia
The Busanga Plains are famed for tremendous prides of lion. Other predators seen here include wild dogs, and cheetah, which are drawn to the prolific plains game of the area. Puku, red lechwe, buffalo, and wildebeest are just some of these, while a special treat is the resident herd of roan antelope.
As the floodplains dry out during the five-month safari season, animals are attracted from the surrounding woodlands, and it is now that zebra numbers multiply, along with sable antelope venturing out onto the plains. Hippos are abundant as well, and often found in large pods in the channels. A trove of birding treasures, the park boasts hundreds of species, including the range-restricted Fülleborn’s longclaw.
Busanga Bush Camp lies on a verdant island in the heart of the renowned Kafue National Park’s Busanga Plains, a 600 square kilometre mosaic of grassy, seasonal floodplains extending to the horizon. Kafue is one of the wildest, most pristine, places on Earth, with a vast diversity of wildlife.
This intimate camp has just four tents set under leafy fig trees. The main area – under canvas – is a favourite space amongst guests, particularly at sunrise when the rising mist gradually reveals masses of lechwe and puku dotted across the floodplain. Outdoor dining takes place under the canopy of a majestic tree from which an unusual lantern chandelier hangs, romantically lighting up dinner.
Wilderness Magashi – Akagera National Park, Rwanda
What some may not realise is that Rwanda is not only home to great apes and rainforests, but has an entire savannah region too. Guests visiting the gorillas can combine their Rwandan adventure with a big game safari at Wilderness Magashi, our second Rwandan camp, situated in the north of Akagera National Park.
Since it’s opening in 2019, Magashi has been the recipient of a number of awards – testament to the experience this intimate camp offers. Magashi’s six tents overlook the beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga. Activities here include game drives – the area is very productive for game viewing and thrilling birds – as well as boating, guided walks, photography lessons and cultural excursions.
The camp’s spacious and airy tents offer uninterrupted views over the lake, while Magashi’s main area comprises a luxurious lounge, dining and bar area, pool, and expansive viewing deck with a welcoming fire pit. The architecture and exquisite interiors pay homage to traditional Rwandan culture.
Read the hotel review on Magashi Camp here.