17 May 2014 by Kate Rau

Gone glamping: A selection of great South African luxury camping getaways

There are plenty of glamorous options for travellers looking for luxury tented accommodation in South Africa on their glamping trip – as well as less-traditional venues such as tree houses and five-star trailer parks.

Take your soul on safari at Garonga Safari Camp. Image courtesy of Jon Connell 

Glamping, or glamorous camping, became part of mainstream travel and tourism well before Kate and William glamped under the stars in Bedouin-style luxury in Ayers Rock

In fact, according to CNN News Source, glamping is set to eclipse its more primitive camping counterpart as the preferred accommodation choice at music festivals and sports events.

Testifying to glamping’s popularity, and in a world first, this year’s Indy 500 fans can spend the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the United States (24-25 May 2014) glamping it up at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The accommodation offering is tempting – spacious, rectangular, safari-style tents set up in the racetrack infield, configured for sleeping with queen, double or individual beds, with bedding, dining table and chairs, and access to private restrooms and shower facilities, as well an outdoor communal area with lounge seating, campfires and grilling stations.

Considering that more fans attend the Indy 500 than any other single-day sporting event in the world – some 350 000 people – offering glamping on such a large scale is a significant endorsement, and will no doubt contribute to the shift in travel perception around camping, sometimes previously thought of as the sole domain of dirty hippies and Boy Scouts.

Glamping holidays in South Africa

There is no shortage of glamping holidays in South Africa. Travellers looking for luxury tented accommodation can rest assured there are plenty of glamorous options from which to choose, as well as less-traditional glamping venues such as tree houses, five-star trailer parks and lavish bungalows.

Luxury safari tents

Gorah Elephant Camp is the only private concession and safari camp within the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park. Here visitors can stay over in luxury – the camp’s 11 tented suites include private bathrooms, a verandah overlooking the African plains and a personal chef.

Located at the foot of the Waterberg mountains in Limpopo province, visitors to  Marataba Safari Lodge are assured of a glamorous camping experience. The luxury canvas and stone accommodation includes a private viewing deck where guests can take in the dramatic scenery of the Waterberg.

Tree houses and treetop tents

Knysna’s tented tree-house resort is an environmentally friendly home-away-from-home set in a pristine indigenous forest, part of the Garden Route National Park. The forest is ancient, and each private tree house within it overlooks the Karatara River as it winds through the bottom of the gorge.

The Lion Sands Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Reserve is home to an extraordinary accommodation offering – the Chalkley Treehouse. The tree house is a secure and lavish platform under the African stars, with all the comforts that a guest will experience at a five-star safari lodge.

Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park

The Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town is one of a kind. A collection of remodelled Airstream trailers set on top of a magnificent hotel is quite something to behold – and a fabulous venue for a night in town. Each trailer has a signature look and feel – an over-the-top, yet gleeful capsule of joy!

Train carriages

Enjoy a night or two in a stunning train carriage, right on the border of the Blue Flag Santos Beach in Mossel Bay. With superb views of the nearby bay and the distant Outeniqua Mountains,  The Santos Express is a real gem. You’re five steps from the beach and just around the corner from Mossel Bay’s town centre.

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