A safari is always a tad more thrilling when you’re staying in a tent. The sounds are a little closer, and the spirit of adventure a snatch more intense. But when we talk tents, we’re not referring to boy scout lookalikes that do little more than provide a rudimentary place to crash. We’re talking tents that are every bit as nuzzle-up-cosy and well-equipped as any luxury bush-pad.
In Kruger National Park
You could go it pioneer-style and quite adventurously at Plains Camp in the Kruger National Park. This camp offers walking safaris and overnight tented stays in the great big bush under the stars at the unique Sleepouts. The Sleepouts are an optional alternative to camp accommodation, and take the form of elevated wooden platforms four metres high. This is the only place in the Kruger National Park offering this kind of experience (weather permitting). Guests leave the camp in the late afternoon and arrive at the platforms in the early evening carrying a lightweight rucksack with a change of clothes and refreshments. Dinner is a firecooked affair, after which the night is yours to savour – with little separating you from the wilderness. After a light snack the next morning, you will head back to the camp and the welcome sight of a hearty brunch. Mail us.
Here’s one for romantics: imagine a tent perched up on a deck above a dry riverbed, an outdoor hammock calling ‘come hither’, and unimpeded views of the great plains of Makalali. Garonga Safari Camp in Limpopo, west of the Kruger National Park, is a fashionably exclusive hideout with a cluster of tented sanctuaries. Large beds are draped voluptuously in soft tones of vanilla, with candles flickering alongside. In addition to indoor showers, the tents also offer the luxury of private showers under the enormous sky. The cherry on the top in this beautiful camp is a stunning bush bath for an amazing al fresco wilderness cleansing ritual. Regular safari activities such as drives, walk and sleep-outs are on offer, as well as aromatherapy and reflexology sessions. Mail us.
Another bright gem in Limpopo is Kapama Karula in the Hoedspruit Area. Its accommodation offerings include two large luxury tents on the banks of the usually dry Klaserie River. Kapama Karula’s central facilities are expansive, mod and luxurious, and invite the vast wilderness in. Mail us.
There’s another up-close experience of the bush to be had at Entabeni Wildside Camp in Limpopo. Tents are raised on wooden decks on the lower escarpment of a beautiful reserve. There’s lots to do at Entabeni. Game drives, bush walks and horseback safaris bring you close to the wildlife, but additionally, there are helicopter flips on offer, as well as paintball, abseiling and quad biking. Mail us.
Giraffe’s Nest Hide is the sleep out option in Motswari Private Game Reserve. Elevated three metres above the ground, the luxury sleep out overlooks a dam. Four-poster bed, eco bathroom and viewing deck are provided, and the wilderness is all yours to enjoy! Mail us.
In the Hluhluwe area of KwaZulu-Natal, Thanda Tented Camp is a really sublime experience of five-star tented magic. The tents have en-suite canvas bathrooms and fabulous viewing decks. The central area includes an inviting lounge area, a dining tent, a 10×5 metre rim-flow pool, boma and spa. A generator provides power for a few hours each day, for guests to charge cameras and phones in the privacy of their tents. The area offers both Big Five safaris, various water-based activities, and geological tours. Mail us.
The Pongola wilderness also has a special tented safari experience, at White Elephant Safari Lodge. This camp has a highly desirable “address” in the bush, right beside glittering Lake Jozini. And rising up behind this are the ancient Lebombo Mountains. Eight luxurious safari tents have their own bathroom, outdoor shower, bush-view verandah and personal bar. Enjoy a gentle boat cruise and explore the wilderness on guided walks, game drives and eco-conscious ‘elephanting’ excursions. Mail us.
Mail us for information and bookings, or call us on 0860 102 907 or +27 21 797-7122.