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When researching your safari you may come across the terms ‘mobile camp’ and ‘bucket shower’ and wonder exactly what these are. We are here to help!

Mobile Camps & Bucket Showers

When researching your East African Safari or chatting to your Luxury Travel Manager, you may come across the terms ‘mobile camp’ and ‘bucket shower’ and wonder exactly what these are. We are here to help!

What is a Mobile Safari Camp?

Mobile camps are typically located in remote areas of wilderness and maximize wildlife sightings by moving location in conjunction with the seasons and animal movements. The camps can be semi-permanent or mobile, depending on the season and movement of animals – notably during the Migration in Kenya and Tanzania.

The safari and mobile camping trend began in East Africa, but is now found also in Southern Africa destinations such as Botswana and Zambia. The level of luxury, style and experience will vary, but the essence remains the same.

This is an authentic and adventurous experience, where you get as close to nature as you can, whilst being kind to the environment, as these camps have less of an impact. Spacious Canvas Tents have en-suite bathrooms that offer a soft haven after a day on safari, and whilst the camp setup is simple, it is comfortable and luxurious considering all the comforts you could wish for.

* The below photographs are of Kwihala Mobile Camp 

What is a bucket shower?

Safari showers or bucket showers are common in mobile camps where there is no permanent plumbing. They are an effective yet environmentally friendly way to shower in areas where water is at scarce.  Typically there is a private shower stall in your tent with a “rain” style shower head where you control the flow of the water.

Outside the tent is a large waterproof bag or bucket that is filled with about 10 to 15 liters (5 gallons) of hot water before being hoisted up by your safari butler on a pully/rope system to either connect to the shower pipe or fill a cistern.



Kwihala staff bringing water for bucket shower

Water supply

Your safari butler usually fills the showers at a pre-arranged time of day, or you simply need to give them a few minutes notice so they can get it ready. The water is supplied at the ideal temperature so it is best to use it immediately on arrival.

There are of course plenty of more permanent camps and lodges that offer fully plumbed bathrooms, should you prefer a bit more luxury.

Our top tips for a Bucket Shower

If you like a bit of adventure, here are our top tips for a Bucket Shower:

  • Let the camp staff know when you’ll be wanting a shower and they’ll get things heated and ready for you.
  • As soon as the water is in the bucket, jump in before the water cools down. Have all your toiletries ready – so you don’t linger about whilst your water is running and getting cold.
  • Get in and then switch the tap off whilst you use the soap. This stops the water from running and you can then turn the tap on again to rinse off. This will conserve the water and you maximize what you have available.
  • Have a sense of adventure and remember how this was the norm in the days of the first explorers!

Serian's Serengeti Mobile Kusini

Our Favourite Mobile Safari Camps
  • Serian’s Serengeti Mobile Kusini
  • Nyasi Migrational Camp
  • Olakira Migration Camp
  • Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp
  • andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas

In this article
  • Introduction
  • What is a Mobile Safari Camp?
  • What is a bucket shower?
  • Our Favourite Mobile Safari Camps

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