Oliver`s Camp Tarangire

Oliver’s Base Camp 2005Oliver’s Base Camp 2005

Since 1994 Tanzania National Parks have sought to find a balance between sustainable use and wise development of protected areas. This is no easy task in a country that has a fast growing population and an electorate that demands open commerce and the chance to obtain western goods.

To achieve that balance a cautious approach is needed and that adopted approach has frustrated many an entrepreneur. Large lodges and campsites for hire were the only options in the early nineties and except in a few backcountry places, walking safaris were not encouraged.

Olivers Camp KikotiOliver's Camp Kikoti ( outside the park) 1992-2001

In the early nineties a few safari operators established ‘tented’ camps of a more traditional permanent nature (like the ones seen in Kenya and Southern African countries), and others experimented with semi permanent or seasonal camp ideas. Walking safaris in the Northern parks were still not being allowed so the first Oliver’s Camp was established just outside Tarangire National Park on village land. (See a short history of Oliver's Camp).

Today, Oliver’s Camp is sited inside the park in a remote wilderness location and as the industry expands these remote spots will be the only places were real solitude and wilderness will still be experienced. Management zoning plans are now separating the different sorts of safari experiences on offer and are an attempt at promoting a diverse visitor experience. Small may be beautiful but if a small facility operates in a remote spot, it can be costly to run. Oliver’s Camp has only 5 tents at present and two more tents can be added for larger groups.

Anyone for chessAnyone for chess

Walking safaris – as an official parks activity – started here on a trial basis in Tarangire with Oliver’s Camp in 2001 and as a result of this successful walking safari and open vehicle game drive operation - overseen by my self - it is hoped that professionally led walking safaris will be allowed in all parks quite soon.

At present all walking in National Parks that are not mountainous are on a trail basis. The actual final walking guidelines are sill being written and I am helping.

As I said, the cautious approach has frustrated many an entrepreneur, my self included, but getting it right is all important and if it takes a few years to set the guidelines that conserve as well as protect the true wilderness experience, then I am all for it.

Oliver’s Camp is being upgraded for this coming season and I am looking forward to being back there with guest during this June – October dry season.

If you want learn more than you would on almost any other safari, of the way in which Tarangire National Park has changed over the past twenty years and be guided there by a naturalist that has pioneered walking safaris and driven to explore its secret corners, then look no further than .

Oh and by the way Leopard sightings in Tarangire continue to improve, the bird species count is over 500 now and the park is probably healthier than it has been for over 20 years. These are just a few of the many reasons to visit Tarangire National Park.

Leopards relax in trees and this one is very relaxedLeopards relax in trees and this one is very relaxed

Leopards can disappear in tall grassLeopards can disappear in tall grass

Links

More about Oliver's Camp, Tarangire(external link)

More about the History of Oliver's Camp, Tarangire