Seanokeng Camp Festival embraces glamorous camping
For many of us, the festive season spells ‘family time’ and a chance to travel back home to unwind with loved ones after a hectic year.
For others, it’s the ideal time for vacationing and relaxing in the heart of some of nature’s most beautiful places, of which Botswana is blessed with several.
The idea of adventuring in the wild woods, however, can be daunting for city slickers not used to the grit that comes with the great outdoors.
Fortunately, help is at hand.
A few local companies have adopted the concept of glamping – a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with ‘traditional’ camping.
Well, the Seanokeng Camp Festival is the perfect place for an experience of nature with the glamour of home comforts.
Three locally owned camping and safari businesses: Glam Safaris, ANS Tours and Be Masters, have been entrusted with creating that ‘mini-hotel in the outdoors’ vibe for this one-of-a-kind-event.
Ludzi Mazwiduma started Glam Safaris just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Botswana in early 2020. The business is currently based in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane.
“You can imagine how devastating it was launching my business, only to pause operations because of lockdowns and travel restrictions,” she said.
Despite the disastrous timing, Glam Safaris prevailed.
“I didn’t have to think twice about getting into this line of business because I am a nature lover, obsessed over the idea of detaching from normal life, every now and then,” explains Mazwiduma, adding she then decided to add a bit of sparkle and glamour to her outdoor adventures.
“The problem we are solving is giving our clients an experience of nature paired with comfort and luxury.”
Chida Thato Masunga of Be Masters Camping Tents, which is based in Sebele, outlined some of the challenges endured in her business.
The enterprise started as a partnership between three people in 2018; with time, the other two left, and Masunga had to run it alone.
“I guess this goes to verify claims that young business owners struggle to collaborate,” reasons the 38-year-old.
Like Mazwiduma, Masunga was also an avid traveller who decided to try her hand at making a living in the camping industry.
In the space of five years, her business has grown from ten tents for hire to an impressive 50.
“The camping business is really male dominated, mainly because women shy away from all the work that comes with it. I encourage women to consider it though, because it is not as difficult as they assume,” she says.
Husband and wife duo, Thabiso and Anna Sebako, from ANS Safaris, have also pitched up in the world of glamorous camping.
“We have been in the tourism industry for many years, but sometime last year, my wife and I left the family business we worked for to start our own,” revealed Thabiso.
The Mochudi native explained that on his visits to his wife’s home village in Bokspits, he was amazed by the beauty of the Kgalagadi Desert.
Likewise, his wife was mesmerised by what she saw in Kgatleng. It was then that they had a light bulb moment to showcase Botswana to natives as well as tourists from abroad.
The three businesses have been entrusted with providing camping services at the Seanokeng Camp Festival on the 9th December in Ramotlabaki village.
They promise a taste of luxury in the form of spacious interior and cozy beds, stylish furniture pieces and air conditioning services, all in the midst of nature’s embrace.
Packages range from P650 to P2, 900, with options for couples, families and individuals.