Tented camps are very different from a normal lodge environment. As with a lodge, running a safari tented camp is a complete lifestyle career option. Managers need to understand the differentiation and so do owners and or operators offering this product.
SafariStaff International can help with training both managers and general staff members. As with lodge management, on-site training can be provided to the client who owns and operates a tented safari camp. Tailored solutions for the entire process from submitting site application motivations to authorities, to logistical planning and camp set up, procurement, staffing and product delivery.
Tented safaris were initiated in Kenya around the 1920s and '30s but the concept spread to cover most of Africa's wildlife areas. There is probably no other subject relating to African travel that is as misunderstood as that of a tented camp safari. A huge range of products is hidden behind the label.
"and this is hilarious":
When he was first told that his US$275-a-night accommodation in Botswana would be in a tented camp, Mark Swanson of London was horrified. 'I'm not paying $275 for a camping holiday!' he gasped. 'Aren't there any hotels in the Delta?! I want comfort; I want service; I'm a little too old for camping!'
The one thing Mr Swanson could have been sure of was that he was not alone in his reaction. Members of the African travel trade report that the issue of the tented camp is probably the most misunderstood of any they discuss with their clients. In the last 10 years or so there has been a proliferation of tented camps throughout east and southern Africa, born out of a combination of necessity and the saleability of the romantic 'Out of Africa' image of the safari heyday of the 1920s and '30s.
The concept has now spread to cover most of Africa's wildlife areas.
These outfits offer tremendous flexibility and perhaps the most private experience. Genuine luxury is provided and tented camps may not have the trimmings of the luxury outfits, but they are practical, comfortable and offer an intimate African experience. The biggest increase in tented accommodation has come from permanent or semi-permanent camps, most of which have been built in the last 10 years in response to greater tourist demand. The definition of semi-permanence appears to vary but generally, they have to be able to be demolished and removed in their entirety within 24 hours.
In most cases, they offer a very high standard of accommodation and service - not unlike that, you would receive in a top hotel - in some very out of the way places. They promise the experience of living under canvas in the African bush with the reassurance of reliable services and comforts.
Areas of expert consultation include:
a) Hospitality service, including guest approach, food and beverage service, identifying guest expectations and tailoring in-house experiences specific to individuals.
b) Sustainability training - the concept of sustainability in tourism and the more significant benefits specific to the environment around a tented camp.
c) Environmental impact assessment preparation and planning.
d) Destination management - designing authentic experiences unique to a tented camp incorporating culture for authenticity and implementing sound policies to maintain a high level of service in a challenging environment
e) Security training, assessments and dangerous game animal behaviour coping strategies.
f) Night guarding and camp safe keeping policies.
g) Emergency procedures and policies.
f) Training staff on work dynamics, teamwork, groups and individuals in the context of lodge management and hospitality
h) Procurement planning and logistics including transport and ambience control.
i) Assist owners and managers to identify critical sustainable change needs in the bush associated with a tented camp i.e. water management, recycle, reuse, reduce methods, solar energy and implement projects for better energy use to improve costs and efficiency optimising lodge/hotel or resort economic performances.
j) Design and implement best practice policies and procedures by identify individual staff strengths and design personal development plans.