Imbibe a real bush camping experience
Do you like camping but you are just too lazy to pitch a tent, or don't even own one?
Don't stress. There is a solution for you and you will love it. The experience is the same even though some purists might call you names.
Tented Adventures is a new player in the safari game, and after identifying the gap in the market they have successfully launched two sites to give tourists a real camping experience, and more.
The company has erected permanent tents at the Pilanesberg National Park in North West as well as inside the Kruger National Park in the Pretoriuskop rest camp.
I recently took them up on their offer to visit their North West site situated at Manyane Gate and I was overly impressed. While the tent is made of the normal camp tent canvass, the interior offers an almost five-star experience in the bush.
The electrified tent has a wooden floor and carpet, two single beds with proper linen, a fan for hot summer nights and an electric blanket for extra- cold winter nights.
Guests also don't have to worry about making fires to cook their meals as the package includes breakfast in the camp's restaurant as well as a top-notch safari dinner prepared under the stars by the company's staff.
There is a common area where guests enjoy their dinner and drinks as well as a boma to warm up while having choice drinks in the evening.
Our man on the first night of my visit was 19-year-old Thomas Mthisi, who treated us to a three-course meal that had pieces of braaied boerewors as starters.
Mthisi then threw hearty pieces of fillet steak on the open fire for the main course that included gravy, couscous and Greek salad.
Tourist Celso Augusto Matheus from Sao Paulo in Brazil said spending two nights at the camp was the best experience for him in his two-week holiday to South Africa.
The physical education teacher said he was happy to have seen some of the big five animals at close range when he went for the safari drive.
"On my first morning out on a drive, we came across a pride of lions who were feeding on a wildebeest. It was a fantastic experience. The animals were so close and I took some nice pictures with my cellphone."
Matheus said he was also impressed by the vibe of Maboneng in Joburg, where he stayed for a few days before taking a bus down to Cape Town.
Another tourist, American Carrie Anderson, said she initially wanted to do the Kruger trip but was advised to try out Pilanesberg, as it was smaller and closer to Joburg. Anderson spent a month at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town where she was doing an internship for her Master's degree in genetic counselling.
"It's my first time in South Africa and I really loved this experience.
"While I came here on a study mission, I had a bit of fun. I stayed with a friend in Joburg when I landed and she took me to her family farm in Modimolle. I would come back for a proper holiday some day."