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Sleep Under the Stars: Africa's Best Star-Beds

There’s nothing like snuggling down in a cosy bed in the heart of Africa’s pristine wilderness. To put the cherry on top, some safari lodges and camps have open-air ‘bedrooms’ in which you can be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the African bush under our boundless galaxy. With just a mosquito net between you and the Milky Way, the nocturnal calls of lion and hyena are even more soul-stirring when heard from a star-bed. Whether you’re here for an authentic safari adventure, family holiday or romantic Africa honeymoon, this is an experience you’ll want to add to your itinerary.

Sleeping under the stars takes on a whole new meaning in these incredible star-beds:

South Africa

Where to Sleep Under the Stars in South Africa

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge’s Tinyeleti Treehouse

Lion Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park

Tinyeleti Treehouse in the evening in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Watch the sun slip behind the horizon as you sip on something cool and refreshing. Marvel at the variety of animals coming to drink from the Sabie River below. Tinyeleti aptly translates to ‘many stars’ – and that’s understating the level of star gazing that’s on offer from this incredible star-bed in the Kruger!

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge’s Kingston Treehouse

Lion Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park

Kingston Treehouse in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Make your way across a lantern-lit drawbridge hugged by giant white boulders and settle into your luxurious glass-walled tree house. The Kingston is ideally positioned to enjoy sweeping views of untouched wilderness and breath-taking sunsets in the west. Don’t miss the chance to sleep under the stars in South Africa during a visit to Lion Sands.

Ngala Treehouse at Ngala Tented Camp

Ngala, Game Reserve, Kruger Private Reserves

Bed and staircase of the Ngala Treehouse in South Africa.

This four-level African treehouse is cocooned in the pristine Ngala Game Reserve and features two sleeping areas: one that’s covered and weatherproof with a king-size bed, and another that’s a sleep-out platform under a retractable awning. Not only can you sleep under the stars in South Africa at Ngala, but you can also savour a starlit picnic dinner in luxury and exclusivity.

Giraffe’s Nest Hide at Motswari Geiger’s Camp

Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park

Giraffe’s Nest Hide at Motswari Geiger’s Camp in Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

This luxury treehouse is set in a very private location, within easy reach of Motswari Game Lodge and Geiger’s Camp. Situated within the spectacular Timbavati Game Reserve that’s contiguous with the legendary Kruger National Park, Motswari offers a fantastic private safari experience. Giraffe’s Nest Hide is an open-air star-bed with a retractable canvas roof and eco-bathroom.

Phinda Vlei Lodge Sleep-Out Under the Stars

Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Phinda Vlei sleep out under the stars inPhinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

After a thrilling game drive in this sensational South African private reserve, you’ll arrive at a magical setting in the bush where comfortable and warm sleep-out star-beds with frothy mosquito nets have been made just for you. Have a seat next to a crackling campfire and enjoy a soothing tipple before settling in for the night to the sounds of distant hyena calls.

The Malori Sleepout at The Motse

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, Kalahari Desert

Malori start bed at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

Imagine sleeping in a luxury king-size star-bed on a raised deck in the middle of South Africa's biggest private game reserve. The Motse at Tswalu offers guests a fantastic night under brilliant stars, surrounded by the calls of the Kalahari's nocturnal animals. The Malori Sleepout is built to maximise the exquisite surroundings and panoramic views and orientated to showcase the unbelievable Kalahari sunsets. Camping beds for children can also be provided so the whole family can enjoy sleeping under the stars.

Jaci’s Safari Lodge Star-Bed Suites

Madikwe Game Reserve, North West Province

Jaci's Game Lodge star bed in Madikwe Game Reserve, North West Province, South Africa.

Jaci's Safari Lodge is a privately owned lodge situated in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. The lodge is built under a grove of tamboti trees on the edge of the Marico River. There are two 'Star-Bed Suites' at Jaci's consisting of two levels. The downstairs section is equipped with a king-size bed, indoor/outdoor showers, indoor bathtub, and a game-viewing deck overlooking the river. The upstairs roof level has a four-poster bed for a wonderful night out in the wild.

Singita Lebombo Lodge Daybed

Kruger National Park

Singita Lebombo Lodge daybed in luxury suite in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Singita is rightfully a household name in ultra-luxurious safaris, where every detail is taken care of by discreet staff who strive to pamper you in every way possible. Singita Lebombo consists of a handful of individual loft-style suites with unending views of the N’wanetsi River and enjoys access to a private concession within the borders of the Kruger National Park. Each stylishly appointed suite features a private balcony with a mosquito net-clad open-air daybed – the perfect place to lie back under a canopy of stars, with the chortling of hippo families below and the distant cries of black-backed jackals on the prowl as your soundtrack.

Botswana

Beds Under the Stars in Botswana

Meno-a-Kwena Sleep-Out

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Salt Pan sleepout in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana.

Meno’s ‘sleep-out’ is arguably one of the most unforgettable nights you can experience on a Botswana safari. Venture into the heart of one of the biggest salt flats on Earth accompanied by ancestors of the hunter-gatherer San Bushmen (considered to be the first inhabitants of Botswana and South Africa) for a night under the stars.

Sable Alley Skybeds

Khwai Private Reserve, Okavango Delta

Sable Alley star bed in Khwai Private Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

This beautiful camp is harboured within the floodplains of one of Botswana’s best-kept secrets, the Khwai Private Reserve. Sable Alley’s Skybeds are three-storey wooden platforms built five metres (16 feet) above the ground and overlook a waterhole – the only permanent water source in 50,000 acres! You’ll find a bathroom with flush toilet and a dressing area on the first floor, and the top floor features a spacious star-bed.

Jao Camp Star-Bed

Jao Private Concessions, Okavango Delta

Jao Camp deck in Jao Private Concessions, Okavango Delta, Botswana

The contemporary Jao Camp is situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta and offers its guests a romantic sleep-out under the stars in a beautiful star-bed. The area around camp is famous for huge herds of red lechwe and big prides of lion. Elephant, buffalo, leopard, hippo, and crocodile are also common, as well as the rare Sitatunga antelope.

Kalahari Plains Camp Sleepout

Kalahari Game Reserve, Kalahari Desert

Kalahari Plains star bed in Kalahari Game Reserve, Kalahari Desert, Botswana.

Situated in a remote part of the Kalahari Desert, this beautiful safari camp offers excellent views of the endless horizons, modern under-canvas suites that provide every luxury and comfort one would need, and fantastic year-round game viewing. Sleeping under the stars is made a top priority with each suite being topped with a sleep-out platform – perfect for nights under the starry skies of the Kalahari as the sounds of Africa lull you to sleep.

Little Tubu Platform Hide

Jao Private Concessions, Okavango Delta

Elephant walking in front of Little Tubu camp in Jao Private Concessions, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Tucked away deep in the Okavango Delta on a remote island in the Jao Private Concessions sits Little Tubu Camp. Private and intimate, this lovely, exclusive safari camp offers only three luxuriously furnished tented suites for an unforgettable, highly personalised experience in one of the best game-viewing destinations on the continent. A great way to enjoy both the incredible wildlife and beautiful nature is on Little Tubu’s platform hide. Located near the camp, the hide is an elevated platform that overlooks the Delta’s waterways, offering magnificent views of the passing game. At night, lay under the stars once the hide is transformed into a star-bed, providing a stellar wilderness sleep-out experience.

Sanctuary Baines’ Camp Mobile Beds

Okavango Delta

Sanctuary Baines Camp star bed in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Intimate, private and utterly romantic are the perfect words to describe this delectable luxury safari camp. Found on a private concession in the Okavango Delta, the entire camp is built on raised platforms high above the Boro River – highlighting incomparable views of the surrounding nature. While your days are spent enjoying seasonal Mokoro (traditional canoe) excursions and motorised boating expeditions on the floodplains or game drives, walking safaris and night drives through the Delta’s untamed wilderness, your evenings offer a time of magic and romance. On your private deck, you’ll find a star bath that allows for a relaxing soak beneath a canopy of twinkling lights before rolling out your mobile bed under the stars and being lulled to sleep by the tranquil sounds of nature.

Namibia

Sleeping Under the Stars in Namibia

Doro Nawas Camp Stargazing

Damaraland

Dowo Nawas Camp star bed in Damaraland, Namibia.

Namibia’s Damaraland boasts a few of Africa’s most spell-binding landscapes. It’s a region shaped by immense prehistoric volcanic action and home to 10,000-year-old rock paintings and carvings. Each chalet at Doro Nawas has a star-bed that can be wheeled out onto your veranda for an incredible evening under a net of constellations.

Little Kulala Lodge Rooftop Star-Bed

Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park

Little Kulala star bed on sleepout deck in Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park. Namibia.

This little slice of luxury is located at the heart of the world’s oldest desert and a mere stone’s throw from the largest game park in Africa, the Namib Naukluft National Park (it’s bigger than Switzerland!). Each villa at Little Kulala has a rooftop star-bed for romantic stargazing in one of the best places on Earth to do so.

Kwessi Dunes Lodge Stargazer Room

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Kwessi Dunes star room at night in NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia.

Kwessi Dunes is a quirky yet stylish and comfortable safari lodge. It’s the perfect base from which to experience the striking desert landscape of both the NamibRand National Reserve and the famous Sossusvlei by hot-air balloon, quad bike, on foot, horseback or in a classic safari vehicle. What makes Kwessi Dunes unique though is its enviable location in Africa’s only Dark Sky Reserve. Being one of the least light-polluted areas in the world means that the night sky here is otherworldly, supplying a breath-taking view of the Milky Way Galaxy that is only found in a handful of other places around the globe. Kwessi Dunes’ biggest drawcard is its prime location for stargazing, with each chalet fitted with a separate stargazer room where you can fall asleep under one of the clearest night skies in the world.

Zambia

Beds Under the Stars in Zambia

Puku Ridge Star-Beds

South Luangwa National Park

Puku Ridge star bed in the morning in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

There are few better ways to explore Africa than on foot, and nowhere does this better than South Luangwa: birthplace of the walking safari. But guided walks are not the only way to get close to the wilderness, this sensational park is also the best place to sleep under the stars in Zambia. Each of Puku Ridge’s tented suites are set on an elevated ridge overlooking a game-rich plain and woodlands, plus multi-level verandas with plunge pools and towers furnished with cosy star-beds.

Elephant Hide Star-Bed at Kaingo Camp

South Luangwa National Park

Elephant Hide Sleep Out at Kaingo Lodge in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Guests staying at Kaingo Camp in South Luangwa are offered an amazing opportunity to sleep under the stars in the camp’s Elephant Hide Star-Bed. Beautifully set in an ebony tree on the banks of the Luangwa River, the star-bed is equipped with a comfortable king-size bed and offers wonderful views of the river (and its visitors) below. This is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the wild and ideal for honeymooners or travellers celebrating a special occasion. We highly recommend sleeping under the stars in the Elephant Hide Star-Bed on nights with a full moon – the river is magically lit up and you can see Africa’s fascinating nocturnal creatures.

Time + Tide Chinzombo Villas

South Luangwa National Park

Chinzombo luxury safari tent in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

Each of Time + Tide’s Chinzombo villas function as a star-bed. The luxury villas combine modern creature comforts with the best of classic Africa: canvas walls that roll out for unparalleled views from the bliss of your enormous bed of the passing herds for which the South Luangwa National Park is so renowned. This is one of the continent’s few honeymoon destinations where you can sleep under the stars.

Zimbabwe

Where to Sleep Under the Stars in Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls River Lodge Star-Bed Treehouse Suites

Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Island Lodge in Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Set close enough to Victoria Falls that you can see the mist bellowing off the famous waterfall, this luxury safari lodge sits on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. Victoria Falls River Lodge offers opulent purpose-built suites, designed with the discerning traveller in mind – and none more so than the Star-Bed Treehouse Suites. Located on their own private island, each double-storey suite offers a host of luxury amenities, open-air rooftop deck with sitting area, and signature star-bed suspended above the treetops. Fall asleep under the African night sky with the sounds of the tranquil Zambezi water and Zambezi National Park to keep you company.

Linkwasha Camp Sleepout Platform

Hwange National Park

Linkwasha sleepout deck in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

Being Zimbabwe’s largest national park, Hwange is brimming with amazing year-round game viewing – from the 40,000 resident elephants and dust-kicking buffalos to popular predators like lions, cheetahs, and the endangered African wild dog. After a day of thrilling game drives and walking safaris throughout Hwange, spend your evening enraptured in romance on Linkwasha’s star-bed. The sleepout platform is situated a little way away from the main camp, providing the illusion of being in the “middle of nowhere” – just you, nature and your bed under the stars.

Mozambique
Mozambique

Hotels Under the Stars in Mozambique

Anantara Medjumbe Island Star-Bed

Quirimbas Archipelago

Anantara Medjumbe Islan Villa star bed in Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique.

Beachside holidays aren’t meant to be spent inside – even if your room is a luxury beach villa at the Robinson Crusoe-style Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort. The resort is one of the best bucket list vacations for couples, offering a wide range of romantic activities and experiences to bring you and your loved one closer together. Your days are spent island hopping, unwinding with a cocktail on powder-white soft sand, frolicking in warm azure water, and participating in thrilling activities, like sailing, deep-sea fishing, water sports, and whale and dolphin watching. Your nights are spent in raw luxury under a star-filled sky on the nearby private island of Quissanga. Here, sleeping under the stars is an elegant affair, with a comfortable four-poster bed, draped in soft linens and surrounded by glowing lanterns awaiting to provide you with an incomparable experience in paradise.

Kenya

Places You Can Lay Under the Stars in Kenya

Segera Retreat’s Nay Palad Bird Nest

Laikipia Plateau

Segera Bird's Nest star bed in Laikipia Plateau, Kenya.

This unique and imaginative ‘nest’ is set high off the ground, offering 360-degree views of Kenya’s gorgeous Laikipia Plateau. Not only can guests at Segera Retreat book a sleep-out in this one-of-a-kind star-bed, but facilities like the owner’s impressive art collection, spa and gym provide more activities at this oasis of luxury. And for those considering popping the question during your trip, this is one of the best places in Africa to get engaged.

Loisaba Star-beds

Laikipia Plateau

Elewana Loisaba Star Beds in Laikipia Plateau, Kenya.

Loisaba is one of East Africa’s most unusual lodges and situated in a 56,000-acre private conservancy in Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau. After exploring this beautiful slice of wilderness on a game drive, nature walk, horse ride or camel trek, your star-bed will be rolled out onto an open-air platform overlooking a waterhole.

Ol Donyo Lodge Star-Bed

Chyulu Hills Range

Ol Donyo Lodge star bed in Chyulu Hills Range, Kenya.

Lying on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills in 275,000 acres of pristine wilderness, Ol Donyo Lodge lies between Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks, guaranteeing you excellent game-watching by day. By night, snuggle down in one of their cosy 'star beds' and listen to the unmistakable sounds of a Kenyan night: the far-off roaring of lions, the whinnying of a herd of zebra and the gentle hooting of a passing owl as it hunts by moonlight.

Tanzania

Places to Sleep Under the Stars in Tanzania

Mwiba Lodge Fly-Camping

Serengeti National Park

Fly camping at Mwiba Lodge in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

Breakfast among the trees, walks alongside ancient tribe, and sundowners in the Jacuzzi are just a few of the amazing experiences you can look forward to at Mwiba Lodge. This secluded haven sits discreetly atop massive stone boulders, surrounded by acacias and coral trees and overlooking a rocky gorge of the Arugusinyai River in an ultra-private 52,000-hectare (130,000-acre) reserve. The highlight of this ultra-luxury lodge is its fly-camps. Immerse yourself in the natural wilderness for a night of pure magic under a sheet of stars.

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