Digital Detox: 26 of the Best Properties for an Unplugged, WiFi-Free Safari on August 19, 2019 Share A safari is the perfect excuse to unplug, connect face-to-face with the people you love, and give yourself a well-deserved digital detox. Given the choice between a property with WiFi and one without, we’d choose to go sans-WiFi every time. It’s good for you! (And we’ll even give you five reasons why.) Here, we share more than 26 of our favorite safari properties for an unplugged break from your digital devices (and all those notifications!). Grab a book, find a chair, and enjoy the quiet. Need a day at the spa? Mud wrap—coming right up! No internet here! © Mwaleshi Kenya It is hard nowadays to find WiFi-free camps in Kenya (one of the tech hubs of East Africa), but Serian has managed to keep internet away. They have three camps in the Mara, depending on your preferred level of luxury. In fact, the only WiFi you will encounter is the manager’s lovely dog, WiFi! Meet WiFi, the manager’s dog a Serian Camp in the Maasai Mara © Serian Camp Maasai Mara 1. Serian Mara Camp & Serian Ngare Serian Mara Camp, is true barefoot luxury in the Mara North concession in the Maasai Mara. This beautiful, comfortable camp has strong ties with the local community and conservation efforts, thanks to the leadership of its fourth-generation Kenyan owner, Alex Walker. Given the prolific year-round wildlife in the area, we love that you have exclusive access to your own game drive vehicles to take in the action whenever you please. Across the river you’ll find the more exclusive Serian Ngare with just four luxury tents. There is something so special when you can unwind enjoy the moment © Serian Camp in the Maasai Mara in Kenya 2. Serian Nkorombo Serian Nkorombo is Alex’s third camp in Kenya, ideally located on a private site along the Mara river, perfect for witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration. This is his simplest camp and perfect for travelers looking for a simple, unobstructed encounter with some of Africa’s most amazing wildlife. Cooking over an open fire, meals under the stars, and nothing but a tent between you and the wild, wonderful outdoors is what you’ll find here. Tanzania Serengeti We are big fans of mobile tented camps in the Serengeti. These camps offer the ultimate barefoot luxury experience and are ideally located closer to the Great Wildebeest Migration. A few camps have resisted the pressure to add WiFi. 3. Serian’s Serengeti Mobile Camp: North & South and Kusini Camp If you’re looking for a front-row seat to the Great Wildebeest Migration, we’re huge fans of Serian’s Serengeti Mobile Camp: North & South. These camps move with the wildlife to ensure you have unparalleled access to game viewing. To make your unplugged safari even more peaceful, we recommend taking a bush bath at sunset. The views can’t be beat! 4. Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp Similar to Serian, Nomad’s focus is on the experience and the guiding. They have resisted the pressure, and their mobile camps are still WiFi-free! Serengeti Safari Camp in Tanzania © Nomad 5. Serian Kusini Camp Situated toward the southern Serengeti, the camp also offers easy access to the Ngorongoro Conservation and Ndutu areas, meaning that from Kusini you can combine multiple wildlife-dense areas where you’re apt to find cheetah, honey badger, golden-backed jackal and hyena, as well as a parade of predators, and, of course, millions of wildebeest and zebra following the seasonal rains. Mahale 6. Greystoke Mahale To really get back to basics (and connect with some rather distant cousins), we recommend a stay at Greystoke Mahale on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Home to the largest remaining chimpanzee population in the world, Mahale Mountains National Park, Greystoke Mahale is the perfect home base for chimp trekking, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. And we think you’ll love the slow pace and stunning jungle setting! Getting ready for evening drinks at Greystoke Mahale in Tanzania © Extraordinary Journeys Ruaha 7. Kigelia Ruaha For a quintessential East African safari experience, your search stops at Kigelia Ruaha. Situated in beautiful Ruaha National Park, the camp is home to a dazzling array of birds, and the ancient baobab trees are a sight to behold. Enjoy understated elegance and all the charm you could ask for, even when “dining out” at a candlelit dinner in the bush. Botswana Three companies operating in Botswana stand out for continuing their resistance to WiFi. African Bush Camp Company and Ker & Downey Botswana do not have WiFi in any of their camps. Wilderness Safaris, which operates the most camps in the country, still has a few that are not connected. Here are some of our favorites. Okavango Delta A rare sighting of painted dogs while on a game drive in Shinde in the Okavango in Botswana © Extraordinary Journeys 8. Chitabe Camp & Chitabe Lediba Despite their location in the Okavango Delta, Chitabe Camp and Chitabe Lediba Camp are situated in a dry grassland teeming with its own wonderful array of wildlife. We love recommending these camps for late-summer and fall travel. The best game viewing is when flood waters are at their peak and as they recede, ideally August to November. 9. Seba Camp Remember to pack those binoculars! For an astonishing array of birdlife and resident pods of hippo, look no further than the lagoon at Seba Camp, home to a thrilling variety of land and water game. We especially love this camp’s t two luxury tents specifically designed for families, with interconnecting bedrooms and plunge pools. Ahhhh! Seba Camp in the Okavango Delta is great for families © C. Culbert 10. Shinde Shinde is one of our all-time favorite down-to-earth camps in the Delta. It’s a great option for clients who want to do all the Delta has to offer but have limited time (so many activities!). Situated in a private concession, Shinde offers day and night game drives, boating, Mokoro rides, and walking safaris. We also recommend it for families. 11. Xigera Camp For avid birders or those looking for a water-camp setting, we recommend Xigera Camp. We think this camp makes a perfect two-night stop to take in the astounding beauty and surprisingly varied wildlife in this little corner of the Okavango Delta. Linyanti 12. Linyanti Ebony Camp If you’re traveling with a small group of friends or family, we’d love to book you at Linyanti Ebony. With as few as six people in your group, you can have this camp all to yourself. Kick back, relax, and take in the amazing views with a mokoro ride, a quintessential Okavango Delta experience. Makgadikgadi Desert The Makgadikgadi Desert stands in stark contrast to the lush, river-soaked properties in the Okavango and Linyanti regions. Natural Selection has three camps here that we love: Jack’s Camp, San Camp, and Camp Kalahari. From ATV rides across the moon-like salt pans in the dry season to mud and migrations in the wet season, this region is a great year-round choice (though shoulder season is our personal favorite). You’ll have the opportunity to experience a number of unique activities, like viewing meerkat and Chapman’s Baobab, one of the oldest trees in Africa. Bonus: we have a deep appreciation for the authentic cultural interaction with the San People (Bushmen) offered by the camps. Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans provide a stark contrast to the Okavango Delta © Jamie Mehrotra for Extraordinary Journeys 13. Jack’s Camp For the ultimate experience of all the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans have to offer, we suggest Jack’s Camp. The original camp in the area and the most spectacular of the three, it’s a perennial favorite. 14. San Camp San Camp is similar to Jack’s Camp, but some travelers prefer the lighter color palette and more open feel of San Camp. 15. Camp Kalahari If you’d like to experience a stay in the Salt Pans at nearly half the price of other properties in the area, the eclectic Camp Kalahari is a perfect option. Zimbabwe Hwange National Park 16. Somalisa Camp If you love elephants, look no farther than Somalisa Camp, home to resident herds of up to 40 of these gentle giants! We love the understated elegance of this classic bush camp. And for after-hours access to Hwange National Park for night drives and bush walks in solitude, Somalisa is the perfect choice. It’s one of our all-time favorite properties, and we’d recommend it in a heartbeat. Mana Pools How could you scroll the internet when this is in front of you? Ruckomechi Sunset in Mana Pools © Dana Allen 17. Zambezi Expeditions This is the original African Bush Camp in Mana pools. Just 6 mini-Meru tents set along the riverside on the open flood plains. 18. Nyamatusi Camp The newest property in the African Bush Camps portfolio, Nyamatusi is set along the banks of the Zambezi River. If you’re looking for a glimpse into old-world, untouched Africa with some fancy touches, this is the place to be. 19. Kanga Camp Only open in the dry and shoulder seasons from April through November, Kanga Camp is not to be missed. Set apart from the Zambezi and the usual riverside camps in Mana Pools National Park, Kanga Camp rises above the Kanga Pan, the sole source of water in the area. This hyperactive watering pool is an oasis for a thrilling array of wildlife. Here, the safari really does come to you. Find a comfortable chair, kick up your feet, and prepare to be astonished. Not a bad view for your nightcap! © African Bush Camp 20. Chikwenya If you’re an avid photographer, Chikwenya is an ideal destination. Let the click of your camera be your only interaction with technology as you capture memories of a variety of species, especially the elephants who feed on the protein-rich pods of the albida trees that surround the camp. With expansive views across the Zambezi to the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment beyond, the raw beauty of this place can’t be overstated. 21. Ruckomechi Camp & Little Ruckomechi Set within Mana Pools National Park with sensational views second to none, Ruckomechi Camp is not to be missed during your safari in Zimbabwe. If you’re looking to unplug, let your out-of-office replies keep the emails at bay, AND be mindful of your carbon footprint, Ruckomechi is a great choice. Because it’s completely solar-powered, the camp’s environmental impact is very low. Cheers to that! For a more intimate experience, stay at Little Ruckomechi. Zambia Pro tip: South Luangwa National Park is an ideal location for a digital detox. Generally speaking, most of the bush camps here don’t have WiFi. It’s likely to be the last national park where most of the camps are totally unplugged, and for that, we love it. Giraffes galloping in South Luangwa © Extraordinary Journeys 22. The Bush Camp Company For a rustic, charming escape from the grind of 21st-Century life, we love the bush camps in Bush Camp Company’s portfolio. Five of the WiFi-free camps dot the Luangwa and Kapamba Rivers in South Luangwa National Park, offering ample opportunities for game drives, safaris on the water, and birdwatching. Pro tip: If going without WiFi is a priority for you, Mfuwe Lodge and Chamilandu, while lovely, aren’t for you. Kapamba River © Extraordinary Journeys 23. Norman Carr Safaris (now Time+Tide) For world-class guiding with a long, rich history in Zambia, we recommend Norman Carr Safaris (recently rebranded under the Time+Tide brand). The oldest safari company in Zambia, Time+Tide has five camps in the South Luangwa region. They offer a marvelous variety of activities to leave you feeling energized and refreshed, including day and night drives, walking safaris, boating, and fly camping. 24. Robin Pope Safaris For a simple-yet-stylish walking safari, we suggest Robin Pope Safaris. Three of their Zambian properties are WiFi-free: Nkwali, Tena Tena, and Nsefu. If you’re especially keen on a walking safari in Zambia, we highly recommend the following: 25. Chikoko Trails There are actually two camps at Chikoko Trails in South Luangwa N.P., Crocodile River Camp and Chikoko Tree Camp which is a real treat for the kid in you! North Luangwa This is probably the most remote and untouched area of Africa. With absolutely no cars, this is an area that is entirely unexplored. There are only three camps in the entire area, two of which are owned by Remote African Safari. 26. Mwaleshi Camp & Takwela Camp by Remote African Safari Mwaleshi Camp is for the real adventurer. The first camp opened by the Coppinger family, Mwaleshi has four thatched chalets. Takwela only has two. Both camps are only open during the peak season from June through October. If you’ve already been on safari and you’re searching for exceptional guiding in wild Africa, this is it. These properties are marvelously remote (you’re likely not to run into anyone else for days), and they give safari-goers extended access to the park where previously, only walking safaris were available. There are so few places left like this in Africa. Wilderness in North Luangwa © Remote African Safari 5 Reasons to Choose a WiFi-Free Property for Your Safari If the properties above aren’t enough to convince you, here are five reasons why a digital detox is good for you: You can read, journal, write letters, jot down a few goals or dreams… an unplugged safari provides the perfect setting for practicing an extra dose or two of gratitude. You can step back from the business of your life. A little distance often brings perspective, and you might just go home with a few personal discoveries or solutions to seemingly solution-less problems. You can sleep. Without the interruption of blue light, dozens of notifications, and the ever-present buzz of your phone. Get the full eight or nine hours a night you’ve been meaning to snag for, oh, the last ten years or so. Watch the sun rise without feeling rushed by the start of the day. There’s nowhere you HAVE to be. How great is that?! Without constant distractions, you have time to listen to yourself, let your inner compass recalibrate, and give your spirit—and nervous system!—a well-deserved break. Say Hello to the Bliss of an Unplugged Safari Today! Ready to start planning your own incredible African adventure, free from the drain and distraction of your digital world? We make the process stress-free and enjoyable. Call or email us today to explore your best options for a WiFi-free safari holiday you’ll never forget! Then, start packing that suitcase because we’ve got all the details covered.