Best of Africa's Star Beds
One of the most freeing aspects of being on safari is the frequent feeling of isolation. From looking out into the private wildlife reserves from your plunge pool or outdoor shower to game drives in open-top game viewers on balmy evenings, the seclusion often makes one feel content.
There is nothing like falling asleep to the sounds of the African wilderness, especially if you are sleeping under the stars in one of the lodges open-air bedrooms or star-beds - completely removed from anyone else. The romantic backdrop of the milky way and the eerie call of a hyena in the cool night is soul-stirring.
Here are some of our top picks for star beds in Africa...
1. Little Kulala, Namibia
The desert-scapes of Namibia are breathtaking and along a welcome oasis situated along the dry Auab riverbed in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, this star bed at Little Kulala celebrates the splendour and solitude of the Namib Desert. Enjoy stargazing at its best with a cool breeze on a balmy summers night or wrap up under the covers on the chiller evenings.
2. Lion Sands, South Africa
Sleep out under dreamy mosquito nets in the greater Kruger National Park Area. From the safety of the raised wooden platform, fall asleep to the sounds of the African night in a Big 5 reserve. Night jars, lions roaring or hyenas calling will sound clearly through the night air as you sleep.
3. Nay Palad Bird Nest, Kenya
Set in the heart of Laikipia Plains is this one-of-a-kind accommodation, with very unique architecture and endless African views that you'll have all to yourself. Taking the shape of a giant birds nest, this sleep out destination offers 360-degree views of one of Kenya's most spectacular safari destinations.
4. Meno a Kwena, Botswana
Situated in the middle of a dry savanna of northeastern Botswana, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans provide a safe space to sleep out with nothing more than lanterns and luxurious linen. The sleeping a the whiteish salt pans with the colours of sunrise and sunset is otherworldly.
5. Kicheche Fly Camps, Kenya
Spend a night out in the Maasai Mara at any of Kicheches Camps. After a walk through the bush with your guide, you will spend the night out in the wilderness. Listening to stories around the camps fire and wholesome food put this authentic experience on the bucket list for anyone travelling to Kenya on safari.
6. Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe
Situated in the remote Mana Pools National Park and overlooking the wildlife-rich Parachute Pan, the sleep-out deck provides an intimate space for guests to immerse themselves in the wilderness. Mana Pools is well known for exclusivity and from the safety of this raised platform it really does make you feel immersed in the wilderness.
7. Ngala, South Africa
This remote and safe multi-story sleep out deck is the perfect place to drift off to sleep under a blanket of stars. On a private concession in the Greater Kruger National Park, Ngala's Treehouse definitely is more of the more luxurious but still advents side of the star beds.
8. Elewana, Kenya
Wake up with the sunrise in Kenya in this rustically destined sleep out deck that has been built in harmony with its natural surroundings, without skimping on the luxuries. Situated in the Loisaba Conservancy, these star beds have magnificent views of the valley and overlook a waterhole where wildlife often visit to drink.
9. Time & Tide Liuwa Plains, Botswana
Sleep out under the stars and reconnect with nature at Liuwa Plains. After dinner and storytelling somewhere in the middle of the open plains, this unique raised tent provides all the safety you need in a big 5 area and allows you to float somewhere above the plains and beneath the stars.
10. Tswalu, South Africa
Naledi star bed is one of two at Tswalu Kalahari in the Northern Cape of South Africa. The red sand dunes at sunrise and sunset are a magnificent backdrop to fall asleep and wake up to. Far from any artificial light, star gazing doesn't get any better than this!
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