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.

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

1. Tinyeleti Treehouse

Lion Sands Game Reserve, 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!

2. Nay Palad Bird Nest

Segera Retreat, 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.

3. Meno-a-Kwena

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.

4. Doro Nawas

Damaraland, Namibia

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 star-bed that can be wheeled out onto your veranda for an incredible evening under a net of constellations.

5. Kingston Treehouse

Lion Sands Game Reserve, 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 breathtaking sunsets in the west. Don’t miss the chance to sleep under the stars in South Africa during a visit to Lion Sands.

6. Loisaba Starbeds

Laikipia, 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.

7. Little Kulala Lodge

Sossusvlei, 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.

8. Phinda Vlei Lodge

Phinda Private Game Reserve, 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.

9. Sable Alley

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-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 star-bed.

10. Jaci's Safari Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve, 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. This is a fantastic lodge for those travelling with children, and the Nare and Safari Suites are ideal for honeymooners. Jaci’s Star Bed is a four-poster bed perched on top of a photography hide for a wonderful night out in the wild.

11. Ngala Treehouse

Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

This four-level 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, you can also savour a starlit picnic dinner in luxury and exclusivity.

12. The Malori Sleepout

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, 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.

13. Giraffe’s Nest Hide

Motswari Private Game Reserve, 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.

14. Jao Camp

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.

15. Puku Ridge

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

There are few better ways to explore African 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.

16. Elephant Hide Star Bed

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.

Ready to Sleep Under the Stars in Africa?

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