Wild Camping vs Fly Camping

While camping is often associated with budget travel, there is another type of camping that’s not budget-friendly, but definitely more adventurous and exciting. It’s called fly camping. In this article, I have gone into detail to explain the similarities between wild camping and fly camping.

What is Wild Camping?

Wild camping is essentially the act of setting up a camp in a natural environment, away from designated campsites. It involves pitching your tent wherever you find appropriate, whether it’s on a mountaintop or by a lake. Unlike traditional camping, wild camping does not have designated facilities like toilets and showers.

Wild camping has recently made headlines, particularly in the UK, where the High Court has ruled that individuals must obtain the landowner’s consent before embarking on a wild camping adventure. With 92% of land in the UK privately owned, Dartmoor was the last place in England where wild camping was allowed and protected by the 1985 Dartmoor Commons Act. However, a hedge fund manager took the national park to court, arguing that the campers had no legal authority. The court ultimately sided with the manager, resulting in a significant change. Read the story here or in this article I have shared a snapshot below;

snapshot of an article arguing against banning wild camping

I personally like wild camping and have gone on a few wild camping in the Mara before we built our camp. Even before we bought the land, I liked that I could get into someone’s vast land late in the night, set up a camp, and leave early in the morning before anyone noticed. Wild camping offered me a sense of freedom and adventure that traditional camping couldn’t provide.

In Kenya, the practice of wild camping is not as prevalent as in other countries. Even on government land that is not a wildlife habitat, permission is required before setting up a camp. Moreover, Kenya faces a significant challenge with poaching, and camping in the wilderness raises the risk of encountering armed poachers. Therefore, it is not encouraged to engage in wild camping due to the potential risks it poses to both humans and wildlife.

Read about places to go wild camping in Kenya here.

Pros and Cons of Wild Camping:

Pros:

  • Immersion in nature: Wild camping allows you to truly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the natural environment.
  • Freedom and adventure: With no designated campsites, you have the freedom to choose your own campsite and create your own adventure.
  • Privacy: Away from crowded campsites, wild camping offers a sense of privacy and solitude.
  • Cost-effective: Wild camping can be a budget-friendly option compared to traditional camping, as there are no fees for designated campsites.

Cons:

  • Lack of amenities: As mentioned earlier, wild camping does not have designated facilities like toilets and showers. This may be challenging for some individuals, especially those who are used to the convenience of traditional camping.
  • Difficulty in finding suitable campsites: It may take some time and effort to find a suitable spot for wild camping, especially in areas with limited public land.
  • Environmental impact: Wild camping can lead to environmental damage if not done responsibly. This includes leaving behind litter or damaging vegetation.

What is Fly Camping?

On the other hand, fly camping offers a more luxurious camping experience. It entails driving to a picturesque location with tents, cool boxes, and chairs, immersing in uplifting music, igniting barbecues, respecting boundaries, responsibly disposing of waste, and appreciating nature’s beauty. Fly camping is often included as part of a safari or adventure tour, involving the daily exploration of different campsites.

Pros and Cons of Fly Camping:

Pros:

  • Comfort and amenities: Compared to wild camping, fly camping offers more comfort and amenities. You can expect comfortable tents, hot showers, and meals prepared by a team of staff.
  • Convenience: With everything set up for you, fly camping eliminates the hassle of setting up camp after a tiring day of activities.
  • Guided experience: As part of a tour, fly camping offers a guided experience with knowledgeable guides who can enhance your understanding of the local flora and fauna.

Cons:

  • Cost: Fly camping is typically more expensive than wild camping, as it involves additional services and amenities.
  • Limitations on campsite options: Since fly camping is often part of a guided tour, you may not have the flexibility to choose your preferred campsite.
  • Less immersive experience: While fly camping can still offer a connection to nature, it may not be as immersive as wild camping since it involves more amenities and comforts.

Similarities between Fly Camping and Wild Camping:

Both fly camping and wild camping involve setting up camp in remote areas without designated campsites. Both also offer an opportunity to disconnect from civilization and immerse oneself in nature.

Differences between Fly Camping and Wild Camping:

  1. Accessibility: Fly camping usually requires transportation to remote locations, while wild camping can be done on foot or with a vehicle.
  2. Comfort and amenities: As mentioned before, fly camping offers more comfort and amenities compared to the basic necessities of wild camping.
  3. Permits and regulations: Some countries may have specific permits and regulations for fly camping, while wild camping may be prohibited in certain areas or require a permit.
  4. Time spent at camp: Fly camping often involves spending only one night at each campsite, while wild camping allows for longer stays in one location.

Read about fly camping safari tours here.

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