Camps, Castles and Campfires

A fire at a hunting camp in Africa

Blessed are the people who live where you can have a hunt of your lifetime a few hours’ drive from home. For many, however, decent hunt means a long distance journey, wherein the hunting camp is an important milestone – or should I say watershed?

One of the hunting lodges of Mashambanzou Safaris in Mozambique at nightTypically, you arrive late and weary after a long road, and as often as not you’ll have to get up before dark, but with the thoughts about what is to come tomorrow few people can sleep well the first night in. 

Tents in the Rocky Mountains where elk hunters staySome camps are primitive by design, some out of necessity. In North American sheep and elk country there are places where permanent structures are out of the question. A tent camp is the way to go, giving you not only shelter for the night, but immersion in the frontier spirit as well.

An ancient little castle built as a hunting lodgeIn Europe your hunting camp may be a castle. Most hunting preserves were once land set aside by counts and barons so that they could enjoy the thrill of the chase after red deer and wild boar, and some of the small castles they put up to lodge and feast afterwards are still used for the purpose. And in Britain you may be staying in a lodge you could use for shooting “Pride and Prejudice” or “The Hound of Baskervilles” in it.

A traditional log hut built by a Kamchatka trapper

In the wildest parts of Russia, such as Kamchatka, a hunting camp is often centered around a trapper’s hut. A trapper’s hut is a thing in itself, and its design is primitive only at the first glance. Everything in in has been perfected by years, if not centuries, of evolution, and is well adapted to the environment. 

A comfortable hunting lodge in NamibiaBy contrast, in countries such as South Africa and Namibia, as well as Argentina, some hunting lodges equal in comfort best holiday resorts. This may not be in line with some hunters’ ideas of wilderness, but comes in handy when you arrive with your family.

A tent lighted from the inside showing hunting trophiesA hunting camp is an ambiguous point in space. When you leave home to hunt an animal, it’s where you’re headed; once you’ve arrived there, that’s where you start out. A destination and a beginning rolled in one. And sometimes, when you leave and look back, things don’t look what they seemed from the inside…

I hope this story made you long to be in a hunting camp or lodge getaway. Find your perfect getaway on


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