The word “safari” conjures images of adventurous sun-drenched days on the African savanna followed by warm evenings spent telling tall tales over fine food and wine by torchlight. It’s the original glamping, and a safari at its imagined best is an expedition that advances to a new location each evening, making the journey and destination one. Today the discerning glamper can take advantage of this style of travel in Africa and beyond, all part of a growing trend commonly referred to as overlanding.
One company that offers the overlanding travel experience is No Limit Expeditions. Operated by James and Angela Brown of Colorado (now based in Guatemala), No Limit offers several exotic glamping expeditions that employ the classic safari vehicle, the Land Rover Defender, taking glampers to far flung destinations otherwise unreachable, and spare no effort in providing all the trappings of glamorous camping.
Expeditions typically begin in a luxury lodge (such as one of Coppola’s fine Central American resorts like La Lancha, Blancaneaux, or Turtle Inn), then take clients deep into the jungle on trips such as “Rainforests & Ruins,” where No Limit sets the scene at a gloriously secluded Maya ruin, where travelers imbibe on exquisite wines and dine on gourmet victuals. James is both a trained chef and sommelier, and after clients enjoy their feast amid the ruins, they may play the role of raconteur while enjoying a hand rolled cigar (personally blended by James himself). “It’s fantastic to sit in the jungle drinking this really nice aged rum while smoking a premium hand rolled cigar,” Angela relates. When slumber calls, travelers retire to a South African safari tent replete with the comforts afforded a British nobleman gone far afield.
The Browns have seen their business expand with the outfitting of additional Land Rovers, and the addition of Lesotho-native Graham Jackson as a guide. They’ve branched out to include new destinations (Baja California and Expedition Africa), and a new excursion to stretch the imagination of the glamper- an amazing island-hopping sailing voyage, “Rainforest and Reef,” blending land and sea exploration. “Glamping goes with our travel philosophy,” says Angela. “We like to go to these far, out of the way places, but we want to be able to do it in a nice style. Not roughing it- we want to bring the finer aspects with us along the journey.”
Its expedition companies like this that get you to places that you could otherwise not reach, and treat you like royalty when you get there. Having an amazing Maya ruin or Caribbean island all to yourself? Now that’s adventure and luxury. Now that’s glamping.
PHOTO CREDITS: All photos courtesy of Ben Edmonson except “Deck @ La Lancha” photo, courtesy Kerry Devine.