5 glamping spots in SA you have to experience at least once in your life
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Bugs, dampness, wild animals, the cold hard ground and nature’s harshest elements make the thought of camping most people’s worst nightmare. However, the chance to engage with nature and escape the city buzz for a few days is far too tempting, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should sacrifice a hot shower for the sake of it.
Glamorous camping, also referred to as ‘glamping’ describes a style of camping with at-home comforts and, in some instances, resort-style services not traditionally associated with camping. With five-star amenities and unbeatable outdoor access, glamping is where luxury meets simplicity.
Local glamping sites offer the raw and untamed beauty of the outdoors balanced by the pure bliss retreat to a luxurious tent at the end of every evening. Perched upon decks overlooking sweeping views of the South African wilderness, these tented hideaways are entirely sumptuous with all the comforts of a hotel – from en suite accommodation to air conditioning, pools and hot tubs as well as spectacular dining options, spas on site and a variety of activities to partake in.
If you’re on the lookout for a weekend getaway for the family, a mid-year escape into the bush or even a romantic bae-cation, glamping is the ideal adventure. Getting as close to nature as possible, without all the hassle and grittiness of camping, it’s the perfect holiday
Where: Western Cape
Situated alongside views of Outeniqua Mountains, a majestic mountain range that runs parallel to the southern coast of South Africa, and the warm Indian Ocean, Botlierskop is a wonder of its own.
The private game reserve is a 4.5 hours road trip from Cape Town on the scenic Garden Route. Their tented lodges are nestled atop a hilly outcrop with elegantly furnished suites, spaced apart for privacy.
The wooden deck is the perfect afternoon hangout as it is shaded by a canopy of ancient African trees with wrap-around views of the valleys below.
If it’s rest and relaxation that you’re after, visit the Fijnebos spa or get a little fresh air with some of the exciting activities which includes horseback safaris, guided game drives and more.
A magnificent escape from life’s hassles, Londolozi rests on the banks of the Sand River, at the centre of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. Their safari offers you an exclusive and luxurious experience of the area.
As a luxury private game reserve, they are world renowned for their immersive wildlife activities, experiential luxury surrounded by magnificent beauty, all the while feeling completely at home within this wilderness.
The camps vary in price, according to the exclusivity of the accommodation, but each is decorated with attention to detail and surreal experiences like outdoor bathtubs offering views of elephants in their natural habitat.
Some of the activities included during your stay at this camp are the Londolozi Photographic Studio, Living Boutique as well as easy access to the Yoga Deck at Founders Camp.
Little Africa Safari Lodge
Referred to as a wildlife haven, Little Africa Safari Lodge is located in the lowveld, minutes from the Greater Kruger.
The setting of this safari spot is the iconic bushveld that offers the best African safaris and unobstructed views of the Drakensberg Mountains.
For a real outdoor feel, with all the comforts of a hotel, this safari tent lodge is built with rustic elegance on the banks of the Moditlo river culminating in a space that envelops you in its luxurious grip.
During the evenings, they recommend sitting around a bushveld fire while listening to the sounds of nature as a way to revitalise your soul and reconnect with loved ones.
The lodge is surrounded by wild and curious animals and birds – so no matter where you choose to relax, your vantage point is perfect to experience special encounters.
St Lucia Luxury Tented Village
This tented lodge on the main road of St Lucia in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park is the ideal getaway for family and friends.
This self-catering tented lodge overlooks a canopy of trees and is every outdoor lover’s dream come true.
The lodge is literally surrounded by restaurants and shops, so you can dine out, order in or prepare your own meals.
Although the feel of the tented villages is that of camping, the amenities will make you feel right at home with self-catering kitchens, two pools, a standing fan to keep you cool on warm days, and mosquito nets on both the windows and door to keep those pests out.
Africamps at Gowan Valley
Where: Klein Karoo, the Cape Winelands, Overberg, the Garden Route, The Midlands, Zululand, Magoebaskloof and around Kruger National Park
AfriCamps is all about boutique glamping experiences at some of the most beautiful working farms and estates in South Africa.
Guests are welcomed by the landowners and their teams who offer a unique, behind-the-scenes look into SA’s various farming industries.
Guests can explore and unwind in the great outdoors, experience everything from biking and hiking to seclusion and serenity, all while staying comfortably in fully equipped boutique tents.
Their custom-designed boutique glamping tents are cosily furnished and spacious with kitted out kitchens, comfortable bedrooms and large showers.