African Safaris – which one should we do?

Many first-time travellers to Africa wonder about the differences between Southern Africa and East Africa.

Is one region better than the other? The answer depends on what you want to do and see.

Africa map with legend

East Africa

The great gamelands of East Africa have a firm hold on our imaginations, perhaps because so many of us have been exposed to African motifs since earliest childhood, perhaps because of something even deeper.

In The Tree Where Man Was Born, the great Peter Matthiessen wrote about the profound effect Africa can have on us:

“The wild creatures I had come to Africa to see are exhilarating in their multitudes and colours, and I imagined for a time that this glimpse of the earth’s morning might account for the anticipation that I felt, the sense of origins, of innocence and mystery, like a marvelous childhood faculty restored. Perhaps it is the consciousness that here in Africa, south of the Sahara, our kind was born.”

East Africa map














Whatever the source of their allure, the gamelands are dramatically, heart-stirringly unique, the greatest display of star-quality wildlife on planet Earth. The most famous of East Africa’s wildlife kingdoms is the Serengeti-Maasai Mara Ecosystem. The size of Vermont, the Serengeti-Maasai Mara has two names because it straddles two countries. In Kenya, it’s the Maasai Mara, somewhat greener and more riverine than Tanzania’s Serengeti, the “warm sea of life” so beloved of travellers. We most often recommend you visit both the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.

We introduce safari guests to famed treasures like Amboseli and Tarangire National Parks, to the Laikipia Plateau, presided over by lordly Mount Kenya, to flamingo-thronged Lake Manyara, and to the great Lost World of the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most amazing places imaginable. Proudly dedicated to displaying Africa’s best, we carry our unstinting commitment to excellence to all our East African destinations, staying in intelligently luxurious camps and lodges tucked away on lush river banks or set high on rocky escarpments overlooking the golden infinity of the African plain.

Southern Africa

Southern Africa map













As befits a continent that takes up almost a quarter of the planet’s land surface, Africa exhibits great and fascinating diversities, a full palette of “incongruities and incredibilities” (to steal a phrase from Mark Twain). That diversity is nowhere more dramatic than in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

South Africa’s unofficial motto is A World in One Country (its official motto is Unity in Diversity) and the country’s diversity is nearly planetary in scope. Cape Town is one of Earth’s most dazzlingly situated cities. It’s also high-spirited, modern-minded, and chock full of hip bistros and elegant hotels, all of them presided over by stupendous Table Mountain. The nearby Cape Winelands, a kind of Napa Valley with added mountains and Old Dutch-style hostelries, is a magnet for fanciers of wine, fine cuisine, and beautiful countrysides. Kruger National Park and a series of equally wildlife-rich private game reserves complete with some of the continent’s loveliest and most salubrious camps and lodges–round out South Africa’s diversity with classic opportunities to safari in well-conserved gamelands.

Botswana, commonly considered a great African success story, is one of the world’s most sparsely inhabited nations, largely because so much of it consists of beautiful, but not terribly nurturing desert, notably the famously daunting Kalahari. The great, green exception to all that dry sand is one of our favourite earthly places, the famed Okavango Delta, where the robust river of the same name, frustrated in its search for an outlet to the sea, seeps life-givingly into the Kalahari’s sands, creating a huge wonderland of peaceful lagoons, meandering waterways, marvellously isolated luxury camps, and animals in profusion.

Zimbabwe, is where ROAM’s African roots lie deepest despite ROAM founder, Brian McCutcheon, having a grandmother born in South Africa. It was the mighty Zambezi River where ROAM’s first-ever exploratory took place and it continues to impress ever since. The lifeblood of the region, the Zambezi Basin offers uncrowded and authentic safari camps, incredible big game and arguably, the most friendly and resilient people on earth.

No matter where your safari takes you, we are confident that you will have an amazing experience and it won’t be your last.

Marrakech Express

Rivers, Mountains & Deserts!

ROAM is pleased to announce Morocco as our newest destination for adventure seekers. Starting in the cultural Mecca of Marrakech, this new multi-sport adventure explores the BEST that Morocco has to offer in one deliciously crafted adventure. Enjoy Moroccan cuisine, culture and countryside as we raft, hike, bike, balloon and even camel ride across the varied landscape. With accommodations ranging from deluxe resorts to Berber villages, we’ll traverse the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara and get an insider’s perspective on this fascinating countryside.

The trip at a glance:

  • explore Marrakech’s museums, kasbahs and souqs
  • travel to the Atlas mountains (with mountain biking opportunities)
  • raft the rollercoaster rapids of the remote Ahansel River
  • visit Lake Bin El Ouidane
  • ride camels and bivouac in the Sahara Desert
  • indulge in luxury lodgings and spas
  • experience live entertainment, culture wonder and Moroccan cuisine
  • go ballooning over Marrakech
  • visiting Erg Chebbi Auberge and Ait Benhaddou

On this trip the accommodations will almost be as diverse as the Moroccan countryside. From Riad to resort, riverside tent to deluxe spa and of course a night under the stars in the Sahara, you will be immersed in a wide array of lodgings and experiences to remember.

Morocco is intriguingly situated at the triple junction where the African continent, the expanding Atlantic Ocean and the Alpine Collision Zone all meet, resulting in a highly complex and fascinating geology. The variety of Morocco geology also presents a wide range of climactic conditions.

Glamping with Bears

Here’s a nice article from Rachel Kristensen:


Routine is the enemy of time.

It’s a phrase I’ve grown to love in my quest of trying something new. Often, I find myself seeking continual adventures in order to ensure monotony doesn’t get the best of me. So when we found out through  (glamorous camping = glamping) about a luxury safari camp, set on raised platforms that overlook feeding grizzlies on one of BC’s remote lakes, it was a no-brainer. We had to go.

On our flight over, when we bobbed and weaved over the towering peaks of BC’s coastal mountains and descended into the arid plateau of its interior, excitement couldn’t help but rush over me. There are places that you stay, where you sleep and then there are places that you experience and remember.

Bear Camp is one of those memorable places.

Found in the Chilcotin region, Bear Camp sits on the crystal clear aquamarine Chilko river, just below the headwaters of the 65 km long Chilko Lake. For thousands of years, the Chilcotins have been home to the people of the river, the literal translation of the region’s name, and it’s easy to understand why.


We arrived around the same time as 3.8 million sockeye salmon had swum into the river’s waters. Their spawning season, which started 700km ago at the mouth of the Fraser River, was coming to an end. Bright red bodies, nearly 3 feet long, shimmered beneath the shallow waters as the fish fought the currents to swim to our shorelines.

Attracted by the abundance of food the salmon represented, grizzlies by the dozens descend from the alpine hillsides to feast within the river. Catching the sockeye salmon or Chinook (king), they snatch their kill and carry it into the wooded shoreline to dine on an all you can eat salmon buffet. Eagles and ravens perched in the towering lodgepole pines and Douglas firs, ready for the scraps left behind, while foxes peered from between the tall grasses looking for their share in nature’s bounty.

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Often to discover these wild places one must find a route far into the backcountry, and while we had indeed travelled a great distance, it was a comfortable trek. Four hours south-west of Williams Lake Airport, we took a twisting and turning dusty road past the ranch lands of Chilcotin and at the end of the road found ourselves at this luxury camp.

Safari tents resting on elevated platforms had a view right onto bear central. Our slice of heaven was situated on a calm section of the river, with small islands and towering mountain peaks within touching distance.

Below our tents were plenty of gear for our choose-your-own-adventure trip ahead: mountain bikes, kayaks, SUPs, horses and saddles, motor and drift boats that would facilitate our desire to explore.


An all-inclusive camp, the day began with a hot cup of coffee delivered right to our tent door while the loon call reverberated in the vast landscape at our feet.

Our days and nights were filled with drinks and food that fed our souls and kept us warm until we crawled under the electrically heated blankets of our king-sized beds. The guides at camp would suggest activities to make the most of our days, while the zero light pollution gave us a night sky we couldn’t resist staying up late for.

Highlights included spying grizzlies from the seat of our kayak, dining at the top of a mountain while peering down a glacial valley, and exploring a remote peninsula isthmus with a sundowner cocktail party.

It was the perfect combination of luxury and adventure with a backdrop of wilderness. Sleeping amongst the trees while grizzlies roamed the rocky shoreline below, we felt as though we were tucked away in one of BC’s best-kept secrets. A temporary home that feels like a family cabin instead of just guests at a hotel, where staff felt like friends and food tasted like your best meal ever.

It’s a place to escape the ordinary and make memories that count.

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Getting there:

Chilko Lake is located in the interior of British Columbia and is accessible with a 4×4 vehicle following many highways and dusty roads or by plane via a one-hour flight from Vancouver, BC. Yes, you can drive but by plane is far more comfortable.

Options can be to take a direct charter flight, or a regularly scheduled 19 seater to Williams Lake, BC – about four hours away.

We took the regularly scheduled flight and while a charter would have been better, still found the flight incredibly scenic due to the low altitude of flying and endless glacial peaks that spread out from the windows.

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What’s included:

Bear Camp offers an all-inclusive getaway including all activities, meals, booze, and guides to show you around. Equipment such as quality kayaks, SUPs, and mountain bikes were also included.

For each of our activities, including the accessible hiking found right at our doorstep, we also had the option to be joined by professional guides who were incredibly knowledgeable about flora, fauna and the history of the area.

A camp chef was onsite to prepare everything from fresh bread to delicious meals created with locally sourced ingredients. Every meal was a battle to not overeat.

The camp is only able to accommodate up to 16 guests, but we lucked out by having only two others joining us making the place almost ours alone. The funky camp had a relaxed vibe with every detail covered and felt like a retreat among friends.

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When to go:

We went mid-September which is prime time for bear viewing until the camp closes in October.

The camp is open from spring to fall, and each season has its appeal. However, I would always return in the fall due to the crisp and clean air alongside with the possibility to view bears feeding on salmon right below your elevated patio.

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Many thanks to Glampinghub.comBear Camp and ROAM Adventures for making this trip possible.

Into the Wild – Alaska’s Wildest Trip

Tat - Tanner 073Our 11-day Tatshenshini-Alsek trip traverses the wildest parts of the Yukon, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. This 190-mile expedition journeys through the world’s largest protected wilderness spanning 22 million hectares. Arguably the most scenic river trip on the planet, you will be immersed in a primeval land that is beyond description.


The “Tat”, as it’s affectionately known by the guides, affords us many opportunities to explore the mountainscapes, glaciers and broad alluvial fans. With 4 planned days for hiking, you will have time to explore and hike.



The Tatshenshini-Alsek has strictly regulated launch dates to ensure your wilderness experience is just that. Approximately 400 people raft the river annually despite the geographical region being more than 10 times the size of Grand Canyon National Park.


Rafting through Canada and Alaska’s highest mountain ranges and sleeping at the toe of majestic glaciers makes for an outrageous and unparalleled adventure.

It truly makes people jump for joy!


The Concert

Everyone has heard of Woodstock and Carnegie Hall and we’ve even fished with Roger waters of Pink Floyd  – but few have seen Odell Fox at Big Fish.  Last summer James Ramsay of Skytography shot a music video at ROAM’s favourite heli-hiking spot.  We’ll let the music do the talking…

Big Fish is a magical place and is now available for 1 to 3 day base camp adventures in the heart of the BC wilderness, exclusively with ROAM and Bear Camp.

Orca Camp – basecamp kayaking in total comfort

For me, the Johnstone Strait conjures up countless images of orcas spy hopping, breaching, finning and tail lobbing while just a stones throw from my kayak – and this is for good reason. These waters are the most dependable in the world for observing and paddling with these powerful but gentle orcas.


Orca Camp is the newest addition to ROAM”s incredible line up of wilderness retreats.  One can kayak and whale watch in British Columbia’s most productive waters  yet retreat nightly to a fully-catered oceanfront camp.  The camp is situated in the heart of the orca territory and the trip includes a motorized day of whale watching to cover more ground than we can by kayak.


Orca Camp features Alaska-style wall tents built on platforms, complete with comfy beds, pillows, sheets and duvets to keep you toasty warm at night.  There’s hot showers, toilets and even a wood-fired hot tub to help you relax after a day of paddling.  Small group sizes and attentive staff will make this “glamping” trip outstanding for all ages.

Organize a private group or join one of ours!  The camp can handle ten guests at a time and can be easily combined with our Bear Camp packages for the ultimate West Coast wildlife safari!


And there is so much more to paddling this cedar fringed tidal environment than the orca. In our kayaks, we glide quietly over starfish, crab, sea urchins, purple-hinged rock scallops and a host of other marine life. You will always need to be ready for the unexpected. A few seasons ago, our group came across a bald eagle flopping about in a kelp bed.

Our lead guide was the first to arrive on the scene. With the assistance of our guest biologist, they were able to free the bird from a healthy sized halibut it had attempted to wrestle.  The bird with a 7-foot wing span was exhausted from the struggle and much to everyone’s delight, suddenly jumped on the back of the kayak.   These natural surprises, plus the natural history and mysterious feel of the coast, stay with you forever.

1000x667-gallery-photos-JSU27Ocean kayaking is among the fastest growing leisure activities in North America, and its popularity is easily explained. It is a means of discovery that is accessible to people of all ages, and on our trip no previous kayaking experience. Our trip allows participants to choose options each day that match your personal level of fitness.

Paddle BC with National Geographic Explorer, Todd Wells

Kayak The Chilko-Chilcotin-Fraser River with Todd Wells!

This August 20-27, legendary professional kayaker, Todd Wells, will be hosting a crazy week of paddling on the Chilko River system.  Todd is co-owner of Mountain Mind Collective, a video production company with a focus on adventure films.  MMC videos have been featured through Red Bull Media House, National Geographic, and Outside TV. Their recent feature-film and “For the Love” is available on iTunes and Vimeo.


National Geographic Young Explorer – Todd also writes for Kayak Session, Bomb Flow, Canoe & Kayak, National Geographic Explorer and Duct Tape Diaries.  Join Todd and the crew at ROAM as we paddle seemingly endless class III and IV rapids with full raft, cataraft and deluxe camp support.

 August 20-27 ( Brand New Launch) Chilko

This departure is available to kayakers and rafters.  If you are not a class IV kayaker, no worries because with full raft and cat support we have space
for you and your kayak through any rapids you do not want to run.  And with ROAM’s legendary service in camp, you’ll never want to boat alone again!


Special Events on the Chilko

On July 16-23, we have Austin-based musicians, Odell-Fox, joining the Chilko Expedition for nightly campfire entertainment.  Part of our annual series, campfire serenading under the stars do not get any better.  A few weeks later, July 27-August 2, is our Wine on the River event that combines 3 nights at ROAM’s funky Bear Camp with 3 nights on the Chilko River and a sommelier pairing wines nightly.  Unpretentious and lots of fun, these trips explore some great varietals that only take a back seat to the action and scenery.


Top Five Reasons to Challenge the Chilko River

# 1 – Best Whitewater

The Chilko offers the longest stretch of continuous whitewater in North America.  Raft for mile upon mile in azure blue, exciting class IV that’s so pristine you can even drink it.


# 2 Music to Your Ears

By popular demand, Odell-Fox is returning to the Chilko for our July 16-23 adventure.  Be entertained nightly by this amazing band that hail from Austin Texas.

Click here to hear them live at Bear Camp

#3 Scenic Flight

Arrive like a rock star by private plane direct into our gravel airstrip at the headwaters and Chilko Lake. Undoubtedly, one of the top three flights on the planet, it’s an amazing way to get this party started.

Flight 3 BCamp

#4 Food & Wine

ROAM has become famous for our attention to details and particularly, great food and wine. The Chilko River adventures offer eclectic and well-paired wines, craft beer and warming apertifs.  No bag wine at ROAM and with meals from grilled local salmon to eggs Benny, you certainly won’t go hungry!


#5 Room with a View

Riverside tenting complete with comfy sleep pads, pillows and fully-catered camping allow you to maximize your time for hiking opportunities, fishing, lay over days and wildlife viewing while we take care of the details.



Uncharted Territory – by Larry Pynn

Read part Two of writer Larry Pynn’s Cycle Canada article about his 2500 -km motorcycle journey in the backwoods of British Columbia.  A stop at Bear Camp is an integral part of any backcountry experience in Western Canada.  Talk about immersing yourself in the “real” Canada versus hanging out in carbon copy resorts.

Cycle Canada Article by Larry Pynn

If you like the idea of charting your own destiny, take a good look at ROAM’s self drive, Overland Jeep trips in Southern Patagonia.  We take care of all of the arrangements and let you do the exploring on your own pace.






Outdoor Retail Giants challenge Utah’s Anti-public Lands Agenda

Outdoor retailers, Patagonia and Black Diamond, are drawing a line in the sand against the Utah government’s attempts to reverse a National Monument designation and trying to repeal the Antiquities Act.  These two leaders in the outdoor industry have gone on full assault flexing their economic powers in the face of an anti-public land government agenda.

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and author of “Let My People Surf”, is a long-time conservationist.  Patagonia is threatening to pull out of the nation’s largest outdoor retailer show that generates 40 million a year to the greater Salt Lake business community.  Patagonia and Peter Metcalf, founder of Utah-based Black Diamond, believes Utah no longer deserves to host the event as the state’s actions are antithetical to the outdoor industry.

By the industry’s twice-annual trade show remaining in Utah, they say they are actually complicit collaborators in their our own demise. It’s time for the industry to again find its voice, speak truth and power to power while making it clear to the governor and the state’s political leadership that this trade show will depart with the expiration of the current contract in 2018 unless the leadership ceases its assault on America’s best idea.

Patagonia is putting its money where its mouth is as they  donated 1 million dollars to the “Get Out The Vote” campaign and followed with another 10 million dollars to conservation groups by giving them 100 percent of its proceeds from Black Friday sales.  You an read the full article in the Huffington Post and Salt Lake Tribune at these links:

Huffington Post                   The Salt Lake Tribune