Written by Lauren Maker
If you could imagine the most romantic outdoor experience in Africa, one of the top things on your list would have to be sleeping under starry skies.
Big, expansive and filled with billions of stars, the African night sky is something to behold.
But you don’t need to do it sleeping in your average pop-up tent; this is not summer vacation in the woods! Africa is one of the best places to sleep out under the stars, in luxury. Think white gauzy mosquito netting, comfortable beds and gorgeous linens, your own private deck or treehouse, and the sounds of the night sky.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favourite beds under the stars:
Lion Sands Tree House – Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, Kruger, South Africa
Without a doubt, the Lions Sands tree houses offer some of the most romantic abodes in South Africa. Beautifully lit up with lanterns, and enjoying an outdoors four-poster experience, it’s true night time luxury. Some additional perks include being provided with an iPad loaded with a stargazing app to help you identify constellations, planets and even the passing satellite! Settle down with a glass of champagne as dinner is served on your private deck and enjoy a romantic evening for two.
Meno-a-Kwena – Makgadikgai Pans National Park, Botswana
On the other end of the scale, for an experience quite unlike anything you’ll ever have again, is the Pans Sleep-Out at Meno-a-Kwena, an intimate tented camp on the edge of the vast Makgadigkadi Pans in Botswana. Drive out after breakfast for a few hours to enjoy a picnic lunch. Relax and take in the incredible scenery before arriving at your campsite in time for sundowners; you’ll then enjoy a campfire dinner and a night sky to send you drifting off to sleep.
Loisaba Starbeds – Laikipia, Kenya
For an authentic and intimate African experience in Kenya, we recommend the Loisaba Starbeds, ideally positioned on a rocky kopje overlooking an undulating valley and nearby waterhole. These handcrafted wooden beds sit on raised platforms which also feature a private sitting area and an open-plan bathroom with a view! Ideal for those who would love a star bed experience but don’t want to be completely out in the open.
Kanana – Okavango Delta, Botswana
Just 15 minutes from camp is the Kanana Sleep-Out Deck, a split-level timber platform with incredible views out over the floodplains which so characterize the Okavango Delta. Guests will be driven out after dinner to enjoy a welcoming cosy fire and the promise of an unforgettable night under the Botswana sky. An armed guide is stationed nearby in a separate tent.
Olakira – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Olakira Migration Camp, situated in the heart of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park offers a truly unique experience: a star-gazing tent, completely closed in by a meshed net but with exceptional views of the starry night sky. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime star bed experience. For those more adventurous guests, a fly-camping excursion deep in the wilderness together with an armed walking guide and park ranger could make your top 10!
Little Kulala – Namib Naukluft, Namibia
Each luxurious private room at Little Kulala has its own star-gazing platform, which can be transformed into a bed under the stars! Slip into your cosy bedroll, surrounded by lanterns and only the night sky above you. This is one of the highlights of a stay at Little Kulala, which is one of the most intimate and romantic lodges in the Namib Naukluft.
Does a star bed experience make your African travel bucket list? For a true luxury safari experience or African honeymoon, combine a five-star stay with a night or two out under the stars. Chat to one of our travel planners to add this to your next trip.