We often hear the word ‘Luxury’ but what does it mean this day and age, and what does it mean in the context of wildlife travel and safari?
One definition reads – “a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.”
Traditionally a luxury safari was one that could offer the guest crystal glasses and a selection of a dozen of South Africa’s finest wines, with opulent air-conditioned guest rooms and over-sized beds with the finest linens.
Today guests are often very surprised with the quality of the offering at camps which do not market themselves as ‘luxury’. Nowadays, at the best bushcamps and lodges, one can receive the service one would expect of a ‘luxury’ camp without needing to pay over the odds for it.
At the Classic Zambia camps for example, you will not find the word luxury in any branding or marketing, but we have the very same selection of fantastic wines, the best quality boats and vehicles (even with charging ports!), arguably the finest guiding team in Zambia, a wonderful cuisine, etc.
This all serves to explain that what luxury now means is not just these factors. It is becoming more and more apparent that the luxury element, the ‘state of great elegence’ is found in the experience, in the sum of all the parts of what makes a safari, not solely the fixtures and fittings of the camp.
The experience to us is luxurious when the personal attention to the activities, fundamentally the reason we come on safari (to see and experience the wildlife and scenery) is combined with genuine wilderness. Escaping the realities of life in the West or the urban centres, travelling to areas where there are more lions than people is a luxury in itself. Coming away from a safari in Zambia, and at our camps in the Kafue and Lower Zambezi, one often feels privileged to have been able to bear witness to these areas. Even on safari these days it is becoming tougher to find destinations where there are not several lodges or camps nearby each other, dozens of vehicles at sightings, power cables in the distance, cell signal, etc. but here at the Classic Zambia camps we are proudly able to still offer this experience – the last true luxury.