Too good to sleep in
Quirky places to sleep abound on safari. From the simplest of sleep outs to luxury fly camps, there is an extraordinary array of places to lay your head. We are great fans and think you will be too. Here’s a selection of some of the best, many of which are almost too good to sleep in:
‘Stellar Escape’ encapsulates perfectly the Huab Under Canvas experience which sees guests camping under a blanket of a billion stars in one of the most remote corners of Damaraland. Sundowner cocktails, a sumptuous bush dinner and an astronomy tutorial set you up for a night of magical star gazing and a spectacular Namibian sunrise.
Helping pitch the lightweight fly camp at Return to the Wild is all part of the pioneering spirit of this adventure in the South Luangwa. Falling asleep to the chorus of Africa’s nocturnal animals and waking with the birds at sunrise should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Transforming a simple platform built around an old leadwood tree has been taken to heady heights at Chalkey’s Treehouse in Kruger National Park. Soft glowing lanterns, a luxuriously appointed canopy bed, and open air shower offering views of the park offer an unforgettable night under the stars in one of Africa’s best wildlife locations.
They don’t come much quirkier than this cracking sleep out which has been built into a Land Cruiser. Arranged over two levels the Onguma Dream Cruiser features a full bathroom on the lower floor with a deck, bedroom and lounge area on the upper deck. Bonkers but great fun!
Designed to mimic a solitary baobab tree, the striking 10 metre tall steel Baobab Tree House at Xigera is a wonderful addition to an already superb lodge. A perfect eyrie from which to witness the magic of the Okavango Delta.
Poised on a rocky kopje, the Elewana Loisaba star beds command sweeping views over an undulating valley and a waterhole, frequented by resident wildlife. The handcrafted fourposter beds can be wheeled out of their thatched roof for a memorable night under the stars.
One of several we know to follow the bird’s nest theme, Chisa Busanga is a delightful seasonal camp on an island in the heart of the Busanga Plains in Kafue National Park. Inspired by the local weaver bird nests, four human-sized birds’ nests have been raised up into the tree tops offering incredible panoramic views over the flood plains and shallow wetlands that are teeming with wildlife.
The glass-walled rooms in this converted train on the Shalati Bridge have superb views along the length of the majestic Sabie River as it flows through the Kruger National Park. The beautiful deck and pool high above the riverbanks, allows a swimming experience unlike any other – with crocodile, hippos, buffalos and elephants enjoying the river far below.
The lightweight tents at Mwiba fly camp gaze down over Lake Eyasi from their perch high on the Rift Valley escarpment. It’s a classic East African landscape experienced in the dreamiest of ways. Even better it can be set up exclusively for up to eight guests so one to be shared with friends or family.
The sparkling white Makgadikgadi salt pans on the edge of the Kalahari are so vast you can see the curvature of the earth on the horizon and so quiet you can hear your heartbeat. To spend a night camping on a simple bedroll in this powerfully magical place is the stuff of dreams.
That not everyone feels comfortable sleeping in the open hasn’t gone unnoticed at Ol Donyo Lodge where each of the ten private cottages has a roof terrace on which a star bed can be arranged. With Kilimanjaro a constant backdrop, the views are grand and breath taking. Call it a sleep-out light if you will, where returning to your suite is just steps away.
The wonderfully luxurious Malori Sleepout platform at Tswalu Game Reserve has comfortable, cosy beds, shower facilities and a thatched roof towards the back of the platform to provide shelter if required. Panoramic views and brilliant stars are the hallmarks of this superb desert experience.
We would be delighted to help you plan a dream safari including a night or two on a sleep out. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.