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Africa's Top Tented Safari Camps

There is something thrilling about staying in a tent on safari. Instead of being shut away behind brick and glass, enjoy the glow of lantern light on canvas walls and drift off to sleep to the sounds of the African night. And if your idea of staying in a tent means having to rough it in a brightly coloured 'dome', you're in for a wonderful surprise: Africa's top tented camps offer a softer kind of adventure with all the comfort and the trimmings you'd expect from a luxury safari lodge.

From Hemingway-style mobile safari camps set up in exclusive sites to massive tented suites with everything from private pools to polished wooden floors, we've combed the continent for our selection of Africa's best tented safari camps.

A TOUCH OF ROMANCE

At Baines' Camp, set on the edge of the Okavango Delta, you pretty much have the whole place to yourself. After peaceful days meandering along the languid waterways in a local canoe, return to one of only five romantic suites and have your luxurious 4-poster bed rolled out onto your private deck to sleep under the African stars.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Baines Camp

Baines' Camp in the Okavango Delta is one of the loveliest in Botswana. A special treat is the luscious bubblebaths that get set up on your private deck so you can enjoy a soak while watching some of the most magnificent stars on earth.

And if the only crowds you want to see during East Africa's Wildebeest Migration are massive herds of animals; we'd highly recommend Sayari Camp. This seasonal camp lies far off the tourist track in the beautiful northern Serengeti and its huge tents and serene ambience are just a couple of the many reasons why Sayari is considered one of the 'Special Places in Africa' by Africa Geographic.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Sayari

Sayari Camp in the northern Serengeti has front-row seats to the Great Wildebeest Migration when the herds cross from Tanzania to Kenya, not to mention little extras like huge bathtubs and fun archery lessons.

TRUE TENTED LUXURY

Singita Sabora Tented Camp is set in Tanzania's exclusive Grumeti Reserves. Expect opulent luxury from mahogany antiques and Persian rugs to dreamy spa treatments. What's more, staying in a privately owned reserve means you can experience a fantastic range of extra activities such as hot-air balloon safaris, night drives and horse-back adventures on the Serengeti plains.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Singita Sabora

Step back to the fairytale age of safari at Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the private Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania. Going private gives you advantages not offered in national parks, like night drives to seek out Africa's incredible nocturnal animals.

Overlooking the teeming plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya, Bateleur Camp is a classic tented camp positioned just below the spot where the famous last scene of Out of Africa was filmed. Bateleur is well known for its exceptional service and elegant tented suites, as well as the occasional safari surprise such as 3-course dinners out in the African bush.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Bateleur

Known for rewarding year-round Big 5 game viewing, Bateleur Camp in Kenya's world-famous Masai Mara is also an ideal base to see the Wildebeest Migration in season.

Just outside the Masai Mara, in its own game-rich conservancy, is Cottar’s 1920s Camp. Cottar’s captures the spirit of the early explorers with Hemingway-style tents lavishly furnished with authentic antiques: picture canopied beds and faded Louis Vuitton trunks, fine candlelit dinners followed by a glass of port as the gramophone crackles into life. Cottar’s also has a spa and is one of the few small luxury properties in the Mara with a swimming pool.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Cottars 1920

Cottar's 1920s Camp harks back to the bygone age of Kenyan safaris - there is even a wood-panelled game-drive vehicle that once criss-crossed the Masai Mara...

THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE

For an authentic camping experience, you can't really do better than a mobile tented camp. Moving to ensure you're always well positioned for great game viewing, you'll be camping in comfort in walk-in tents with crisp linen on comfortable double beds and en-suite bathrooms with hot bucket-showers.

We'd recommend Chobe Under Canvas in the Chobe National Park, an area world-renowned for its huge herds of elephant and buffalo, or Serengeti Under Canvas, a mobile camp which follows the Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, ensuring your game-viewing seats are always in the front row.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Chobe Under Canvas

Chobe Under Canvas put you in the heart of Botswana's sensational Chobe National Park, which has the densest concentration of elephants in Africa, not to mention massive herds of buffalo and pods of hippos.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Serengeti Under Canvas

In a prime area of Tanzania, Serengeti Under Canvas takes you back to very comfortable basics with spacious tents, softs beds and en suite bathrooms.

WELL OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Wolwedans Private Camp, set in the quiet seclusion of Namibia's NamibRand Nature Reserve, has been designed for guests who really want to get away from it all. Surrounded by mesmerising red Sossusvlei dunes and distant purple mountains, this villa-type suite has a wooden frame with canvas walls which can be opened up completely - perfect for stargazing from the warmth of your bed.

Wolwedans Private Camp - suite

Wolwedans Private Camp lets you experience the serenity of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia.

Romantics seeking adventure are sure to love Jongomero: a classic tented safari camp in Tanzania’s wild Ruaha National Park. Built on raised wooden decking, these spacious tents overlook a dry riverbed where elephant are often seen. But what really sets Jonogomero apart is the people who work there: the knowledgeable, entertaining guides and wonderful hosts who conjure up delicious treats and safari surprises. 

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Jongomero

Ruaha is one of Tanzania's little-visited gems: Jongomero provides you with stellar accommodation including thrilling nights out in the wild in simple 'fly-camps'.

Set amongst clusters of desert palms, the white Meru-style tents of Botswana's San Camp look out over Makgadikgadi's gigantic salt pans, giving this camp a feeling of incredible space. If you're looking for something different from the norm, we'd recommend San Camp's unique activities which include nature walks guided by Kalahari Bushmen and fun interactions with wild meerkats.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - San Camp

One of the most stylish camps in the Kalahari Desert, San Camp has a stunning yoga pavilion overlooking the ancient pans.

ECO-FRIENDLY PEACE OF MIND

Stay in a tented suite looking down on the gin-clear waters of Lake Malawi and spend your days kayaking to hidden beaches or drifting off to sleep in your hammock to the haunting cries of fish eagles. Mumbo Island Camp was hand-built using strict principles of eco-architecture to ensure minimal impact on this peaceful private island.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Mumbo Island Camp

Perched on massive boulders along Lake Malawi's beautiful shoreline, Mumbo Camp has unending views of the shimmering water that is home to at least 500 species of fish!

Porini Lion Camp, a luxury tented camp bordering Kenya's Masai Mara, is another great example of low-impact eco-tourism: the camp uses solar power and the whole place could be dismantled within 24 hours, leaving hardly a trace. Stay in spacious safari tents and experience game drives and guided walks with Maasai warriors.

Africa's Top Tented Camps - Porini Lion Camp

Porini Lion Camp's sophisticated and elegant interiors belie the fact that this a very eco-friendly camp that can be totally dismantled to leave virtually no footprint on the Masai Mara.

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