A luxury mobile safari set up

What is a private mobile safari? General information on fully serviced mobile camp safaris.

A mobile safari is essentially a holiday where you travel through the parks and reserves of Botswana in an open game viewing vehicle, camping in the wild exclusively with your group in private campsites. This allows you to experience the adventure of bygone days, travelling through diverse areas and witnessing the transformation of nature as desert meets delta.

On a privately guided safari your group will travel with your Professional Guide and Marc Baar who acts as you Tour Leader and private Chef. The safari crew travel ahead and set up camp for your arrival. Our safaris start either in Maun, Kasane or in Victoria Falls where you will be met by Marc Baar and your guide.

As you are on a private safari, you can enjoy the peaceful ambience of your private camp with your travel companions, enjoying the sights and sounds of the wilderness. Your days will be spent exploring the national parks and reserves in the safety of your safari vehicle designed for optimal game viewing and photography. In addition, your itinerary may include boating and mokoro excursions as well as guided walks depending on your preferences and which areas you select.

We offer three standards of accommodation, for more details on our comfortable, semi-luxury and luxury standards please click on the link.

A typical day on safari.

A mobile safari is an all encompassing experience. From the moment you enter the National Parks in Botswana you are in an unspoilt, unfenced wilderness area. Activities vary in the different areas but your day generally follows the same routine, with the exception of transfer days where you move from one region to the next.

On a full day in camp you are woken just before sunrise by your friendly tent steward bearing a basin of warm water. You join your group around the campfire for that first ‘essential’ cup of tea or coffee and a light breakfast of cereal, toast, assorted jams, fruit and rusks. We head out as early as is permitted in the National Parks which is around sunrise. Based on the sounds from the previous night and the fresh spoor left by the nocturnal animals, your guide decides on the direction for the game drive. You may spot fresh lion tracks walking straight past the camp or evidence of a passing herd of buffalo not far away. Part of the unique appeal of Botswana is that the wildlife moves naturally and you are actually ‘searching’ for them, which can lead to surprising sightings and a great appreciation and respect for the bush. After a couple of hours of exploring we stop for coffee, tea, crunchies and fruit and a chance to stretch our legs and enjoy the surroundings.

There is no predicting what adventure we may experience, but generally we head back to camp in the late morning. In camp we enjoy a hearty lunch and then there is plenty of time for showers and the great safari tradition of ‘siesta time’. This free time gives you the opportunity to read, write and relax in camp, enjoying the silence and the solitude. We all meet again for afternoon tea and cake and then head out on the afternoon activity, perhaps exploring a new area or returning to a great morning sighting.

Whilst camping in the National Parks we are obliged to return to camp by sunset, however if camping in a private community area we are permitted to return soon after dark. In some areas our excursion may include a boat cruise or a guided walk.

We return from the game drive with a sense of awe and a hearty appetite. Our welcoming camp is lit up by a string of lamps and a warm glow from the fire under a star-studded sky. Now is the time to relax around the fire with an aperitif, chat about the happenings of the day and watch Marc prepare your sumptuous dinner.

All campsites are in wilderness areas without fences so the game could come wandering past at any time. Although it is unusual for animals to approach camp in the day time, at night when we are all in bed this is very possible. For this reason you will be accompanied to your tents at night and, unless instructed by your guide, you do not leave it until morning.

On the days when we move camp, the day follows a different rhythmn depending on your itinerary and the distance needed to travel. Your guide will brief you the evening prior but generally we take a packed lunch and spend the day travelling, mostly with the opportunity of viewing game.

Besides Marc, your private chef, and your professional guide, we have a waiter, tent stewards and camp assistants who are there to take care of your every need. As all our safaris are non-participatory, our camp staff set up and break down camp on moving days and carry out the various daily duties to ensure your total comfort and relaxation.

We offer a limited laundry service (hand wash) during full days in camp whilst on safari, although this is dependent upon the availability of water and the weather.

  • A typical day on safari
  • Simply Wild and Marc Baar specialise in family safaris
  • Children on safari with Simply Wild and Marc Baar
  • Guests on a Simply Wild safari
  • A typical family safari with Marc Baar and Simply Wild
  • Marc and the safari staff
  • Mobile safari tent with guests and elephants
  • Marc showing guests a mopane leaf
  • Simply Wild safari guests with elephants at a waterhole

Campsites, vehicles and distances.

There are several different types of campsites we use in Botswana depending on the area, availability and your personal desires.

Private Mobile Operator (HATAB & BOGA) sites
These sites are situated within the National Parks and Game Reserves of Botswana and are for the exclusive use of licensed professional Botswana operators. These are pure wilderness sites generally situated in idyllic locations and unfenced. There are no facilities so our camp is totally self sufficient – we bring our own camping equipment, bush toilets, showers, water and wood. There is a Code of Conduct respected by all operators using these sites which are self maintained; no rubbish, coals, holes etc may be left behind.
These areas offer a pure and uninterrupted wilderness experience and this is the beauty of what Botswana has to offer – no people, no traffic, no industry, just a sky filled with stars and the sounds of the wild.

Private Community sites
These sites are situated adjacent to National Parks in Community areas which are classified as Photographic Wildlife areas. They are similar to the HATAB sites but the rules of the community areas are more flexible than those in the parks where driving is permitted until soon after dark. Some of these sites offer complete privacy in remote locations while other sites are in range of other campers.

Our safari game drive vehicles are spacious and comfortable taking up to 5 or 9 guests depending on the safari standard you choose. We try ensure every guest has a window seat, therefore we usually accommodated a maximum of 5 to 7 guest per vehicle.

Most of the driving is on bush roads in wildlife areas so we travel at a leisurely pace (approx 30-40km per hour) with game viewing and refreshment stops en-route. The exception is when you are driving to or from the wildlife areas to our base in Maun when you will travel a certain distance on a tar road at greater speeds. As there are bush airstrips located in most of the areas, it is also possible to fly these distances in a light aircraft, please enquire upon planning your itinerary if this interests you. Although this is at an additional cost, it can be one of the highlights of your trip if you incorporate a scenic flight over the Okavango Delta.

Maun to Moremi Game Reserve – you travel for 3-4 hours (from 100 – 150 km) depending on the location of your campsite in the reserve. The first 40km are on tar road, followed by a short section on gravel/calcrete and the rest of your journey, once you enter the wildlife area, will be on dirt roads.

Moremi Game Reserve to Savute (in Chobe National Park) – you travel 4-5 hours (from 110 – 150 km) depending on the location of your campsite. This drive, which is all on dirt roads, is wonderfully scenic as you witness changes in landscape and habitat. You are mostly in wildlife areas but you may also pass a village.

Savute area to Chobe River/Kasane (in Chobe National Park) – you travel 4-5 hours (from 110 – 170km) depending on your campsite location in the Chobe River area. This drive, which is all on dirt roads, travels through an ever-changing scenery of rocky outcrops, forests, flood plains and even villages in the north.

Maun to Central Kalahari Game Reserve – you travel for approximately 5 hours (approximately 200km), two thirds and the greater distance on tar road before you travel on dirt roads.

Maun to Nxai Pan National Park – you travel for approximately 4 hours (175km). The first 140km are on tar road to the Park entrance, followed by 35km on a track with deep sand. For your comfort we would recommend a mini-bus transfer to the Park entrance.