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Three Reasons to Stay at a Luxury Tented Camp

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Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti, Tanzania

Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Singita

With so many properties and regions to select from on safari, some consider a few days spent a luxury tented camp an essential experience. Classic luxury under canvas, set in secluded and idyllic locations on safari, would best describe a luxury tented camp safari.

A step up from a safari lodge and more luxurious than a mobile camp, this level of accommodation stands out as unique and exquisite. Mostly built on a solid foundation, perhaps solid walls, the high-ceiling, spacious roomed luxury tents offer a different viewpoint to the surrounding bush and are a popular choice with safari-goers.

1. Enjoy Unique Design and Architecture

Bathtub and shower in guest suite of Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

Bathtub and shower in guest suite of Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Singita

Often known as “glamping,” a luxury tent should not be confused with the more traditional notion of camping. They are spacious yet petite and radiate with luxury and romance. Tented accommodation ranges from partial solid walls with canvas roofing and back to all-canvas, the latter offering a less intrusive impact on the environment, the thin walls provide an unerring immersion.

Bathrooms typically connect to a luxury space, some with an escape route to a personal spa fit with an outdoor shower. Some areas around the tent are secluded by means of a tastefully erected reed wall, lanterns lighting the way at the point where the tent meets the earth. Tents can be as grand and ostentatious as expected by royalty or subtle in their earthy design. Creativity has no end when designing a luxury tent for safari.

2. Savor a Sophisticated Luxury

Guest tent at Cottar's 1920s Safari Camp in Masai Mara, Kenya

Guest tent at Cottar's 1920s Safari Camp in Masai Mara, Kenya. Photo courtesy of Cottar's Safaris

Private tented camps take glamour to the next level. From colors and fabrics used to small touches and attention to detail, stepping into your tent can be just like stepping into a fairytale. Some tents boast private plunge pools, and private sitting areas with a daybed perfectly positioned overlooking an open plain or blocked off bush area denoting utter privacy. Some are solar powered, others with full electricity, and yet more with lanterns and gaslights to light the way.

Camps cater to a limited number of guests, usually having somewhere between four and 20 individual tents, exceptionally spaced and located to offer uninterrupted views. At the heart of the camp is a central dining and meeting area, often with an outdoor fire pit where guests congregate into the evening. There is both intimacy and seclusion here, with guards quickly learning guests' names and adding many personal touches to a guest’s experience.

3. Immerse Yourself in the Bush

Duba Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Duba Plains Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo courtesy of Great Plains Conservation

Luxury tented camps elevate the wildlife experience, located in pristine areas of wilderness and national parks. The emphasis is on seclusion and maximizing the immersion in an environment. This might be overlooking a permanent water source, hidden in a valley, or tucked on the edge of a forest. In most cases, the camp will be away from traditional trails through the park and other camps.

At night the sound of an animal brushing up against the canvas can be thrilling, sounds of the wild ringing out from the bush. Wake up, open the tent, and there's often something viewed at remarkable proximity, wildlife wandering through the camp, feeding on the grass that surrounds the tents. After a day on safari, this can provide an indelible compliment, comfortable and calm yet maintaining the impression of the wild.

Where to Find a Luxury Tented Camp

Singita Mara River Tented Camp in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Singita

Singita Mara River Tented Camp in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Singita

These permanent and semi-permanent tented camps are found in most national parks and reserves in east and southern Africa. They benefit from space and an uninterrupted location, allowing guests to sleep deep within a park. Smaller reserves use luxury tented camps to offer guests a more intimate and exclusive experience, an intimate alternative to staying in a game lodge.

The tented option can be just one of the accommodation options offered at a particular safari establishment or the only type of accommodation present in a specific reserve. Standing out in some larger parks and reserves, they intrigue all who come to stay, something out of the ordinary, exuding the feeling of safari exploration from yesteryear.

We Can Help You Choose

Guest tent at andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Guest tent at andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp. Photo courtesy of andBeyond

Stepping into a canvas haven in the middle of the African wild can seem surreal yet this experience is absolutely at your fingertips. Your Zicasso safari specialist will help you create your tented safari dream, sharing various tented experiences and locations with you.

Learn more at our Africa Safari Guide, and explore sample safari itineraries for more inspiration. Your Zicasso safari specialist is a destination expert and ready to answer your questions to help you find the right safari for you. Ready to start planning? Fill out a Trip Request, or call our Traveler Care team at 1-888-265-9707.

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