The term luxury safari has changed so much since the beginning of time, it’s actually done a full circle. Originally a luxury safari was one where the client was able to get off into some of the most remote and wild areas of Africa, without seeing another soul and exploring areas which others can only dream of. Luxury safaris then involved mobile camps with gourmet food but bucket showers and long drop loos were certainly the norm. Luxury safaris then started to see heavy investment when the photographic side of things took of, and this saw the introduction of extreme luxury in the bush, either in the form of a tented camp or a luxury lodge. Now we are going backwards, but we see it as forwards, the term luxury safari now has to have something other than just a luxury outer lining, there have to be experiences and excursions and explorations of uncharted territory – one of our favourite new luxury safari excursions is a star bed, here we take you through the top places in Africa to take a luxury safari with a night spent out under the beautiful African night.
Abu Camp – Okavango, Botswana
Abu Camp is one of Botswana’s most famous luxury safari camps, this extremely luxurious lodge has a herd of habituated elephants with whom you can ride and walk through the bush – the game viewing is excellent and the herd are the most gentle and elegant you will ever meet. To be so close to these amazing animals really is sensational and your luxury safari MUST include a night spent out under the stars on the romantically lit star bed, which overlooks the elephant boma. There is nothing more sleepy than the low rumbles of the elephants as they happily rest and eat their delicious hay.
Baines Camp – Okavango, Botswana
Baines Camp has more charm, charisma and heart than many other luxury safari camps put together – it’s amazing team of staff and luxury location mean that you can have creature comforts whilst still feeling as one with nature – their star baths and star beds are a highlight and every single room has them, so you can decide as and when you might want to use them.
Kalahari Plains Camp – Kalahari, Botswana
Kalahari Plains Camp is in a prime area for game viewing in the stark and beautiful Kalahari Desert – every single room has it’s own star bed on the roof so if you wanted to you could sleep up there every night, from here you can often see the milky way, and listen to black maned Kalahari lions roar in the distance. This luxury safari camp comes alive between November and March when the wild flowers are out and the game pours in.
San Camp – Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
This luxury safari camp is so magical you won’t even be able to describe it to your friends when you get home. White Moroccan tents dot the salt pans and the antique campaign furniture is nothing short of stunning. Gourmet food is served under the stars after a wonderful day of meeting meerkats, San bushmen and quad biking across the pans. A night out on the pans here is breathtaking – the dewless night will have the milky way twinkling down on you and you will wake up to a lunar like landscape which is unrivalled in beauty by anywhere else in the world.
Loisaba – Northern Kenya
Loisaba was where the original star bed was invented, Northern Kenya is hopelessly beautiful with dramatic scenery and lots and lots of wildlife. Nothing compares to waking up to a Kenyan sunrise from the comfort of your four poster bed. The beds here are easily wheeled into a small elevated area if it starts to rain and it is images from these beds which have become famous worldwide. Loisaba Lodge sadly burnt down but remains one of the hottest luxury safari spots in Africa and their new lodge should be ready by Christmas, much to the excitement of everyone in the safari industry.
Ol Donyo Lodge – Chyulus, Southern Kenya
This magical lodge is one of Kenya’s top luxury safari lodges has views of open plains leading up to the mighty Kilimanjaro. Once again every single luxury room has it’s own star bed on the roof so you can sleep there as and when you like, it is something many people do throughout their stay especially since Kilimanjaro is most visible in the morning so you really do wake up to one of the most stunning views in all of Africa.
Tswalu Kalahari – South Africa
Tswalu Motse has long been known as one of the top luxury safari spots in all of Africa, which means it is no surprise that it has one of the best star beds in the world. The Malori Sleep Out is certainly one of the most luxurious safari star beds there is and is set with vast open views of the surrounding plains. Nothing can compare to the feeling of remoteness one gets when staying in this ultra luxurious star bed. Tswalu Tarkuni also has a star bed for every single suite so when you’re staying at this luxury lodge you can pick and choose when you’d like to be there.
Makanyane – Madikwe, South Africa
Makanayane is quirky and remote, set in it’s own luxury safari conservancy attached to Madikwe Game Reserve, the game viewing here is amazing and a night spent out in their extremely comfortable star bed will be bound to provide plenty of excitement. Here all the stops are pulled out to make sure you’re comfortable and can enjoy a blissful night out in the wilderness.
Lion Sands Tree Houses – Sabi Sands, South Africa
The Sabi Sands is well known for being one of the top luxury safari destinations for seeing big cats, this is why the tree houses provided by lion sands have drawbridges to cocoon you in safety in what will be one of the best nights of your life – these tree houses are literally spectacular. The magical light in this area of the Sabi Sands has lead to some of the most moving photographs of any room in the world – as seen here.
Tanda Tula – Timbavati, South Africa
Timbavati is packed for a wildlife and offers an even quieter game viewing experience than the Sabi Sands – this amazing luxury tented camp is one of our favourite on the whole luxury safari circuit and their brand new star bed just makes them better. They recently underwent the most wonderful refurb and although they remain understated and very relaxed the vibe is extremely luxurious, and now you can add to walks, game drives and delicious food by spending a night out under the stars.
Garonga Safari Camp – South Africa
Garonga is a private haven, which only a few very lucky guests are privileged enough to experience, it is off the beaten track and provides a refuge from the large numbers of people who game drive in the Kruger, and even the Sabi Sands. Their star bed is a little more rustic but adds such charm to this luxury safari adventure that you have to love it. Many tales from the star bed are both exciting and awe inspiring – mating leopards underneath, lions roaring all night – this is a true African star bed.
Rukomechi – Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Mana Pools is back on the luxury safari circuit, it still remains one of the greatest wildernesses in the world, nothing can compare to the fantastic game viewing and vast open spaces of this beautiful park, which borders the mighty Zambezi River. The star bed here offers a wonderful insight into what it must have been like for the first great explorers in Africa, since there is literally nothing else around you for miles and miles, apart from abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery.
Little Makalolo – Hwange, Zimbabwe
Little Makalolo is a giant of a luxury safari camp when it comes to luxury safaris in Zimbabwe, not through it’s actually sixe but through the quality of the experience. Unsurprisingly the star bed located twenty minutes from camp really is amazing and you will have an exciting night listening out for the abundant wildlife that lives in Hwange National Park. Hwange is the ideal park to visit before or after Mana Pools and the game viewing you will have in both these areas will in all likelihood blow anything you have seen before out of the water. Zimbabwe is back on the up and we want everyone to experience this truly amazing country.
Kalamu Star Beds – South Luangwa, Zambia
The South Luangwa is a hot spot for luxury safari goers who are looking for something a little special, something different. Here you can combine a seriously luxurious stay with a stay in one of the magical Kalamu Star Beds, here you will sleep out on a raised platform under a canopy of twinkling stars. When you combine this with some of the other properties in the South Luangwa you really are onto a winner of a safari.