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.
Here are our 10 favourite star-beds in Africa:
1. Tinyeleti Treehouse, Lion Sands Game Reserve
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 in the Kruger!
2. Nay Palad Bird Nest, Segera Retreat
This unique and imaginative ‘nest’ is set high off the ground, offering 360-degree views of Kenya’s gorgeous Laikipia Plateau.
3. Meno-a-Kwena, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
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.
4. Doro Nawas, Damaraland
Namibia’s Damaraland boasts some 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 bed that can be wheeled out onto your veranda for an incredible evening under an endless blanket of constellations.
5. Kingston Treehouse, Lion Sands Game Reserve
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 South African wilderness and breath-taking sunsets in the west.
6. Loisaba Starbeds, Laikipia
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…
7. Little Kulala Lodge, Sossusvlei
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 star gazing in one of the best places on Earth to do so.
8. Phinda Vlei Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve
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 ‘sleepout’ beds with frothy mosquito nets have been made just for you. Have a seat next to a crackling camp fire and enjoy a soothing tipple before settling in for the night to the sounds of distant hyena calls.
9. Sable Alley, Okavango Delta
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-story 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 bed with only a mosquito net between you and the infinite Milky Way.
10. Chalkley Treehouse, Lion Sands Game Reserve
As the legend goes, explorer Guy Aubrey Chalkley set up camp one night in a majestic leadwood tree to escape hungry predators below. He loved the location so much that he decided to build the ultimate bush bedroom, the Chalkley Treehouse. Expect nothing less than 5-star comfort in this al fresco suite on the border of the Kruger National Park.
Inspired? Ready for your unforgettable night under a velvet African sky? Chat with someone who’s been there…