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10 Spectacular Places to Sleep Under the African Stars


Looking into the night, I can see eyes staring back at me. In the dark, something is moving. I am afraid, but I am also happy. I have never been here before, and yet I feel like I have returned. I am at peace.

- Kuki Gallmann, I Dreamed of Africa

Africa's leading sustainable ecotourism operator, Wilderness Safaris, prides itself on offering life-changing experiences. Its range of exciting sleep-out adventures in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe promise guests just that – a unique opportunity to experience nocturnal Africa accompanied by the symphonic score of the elephant's deep-bellied rumble, the whooping hyaena and the evocative call of lions roaring. All Star Beds and sleep-out platforms are elevated for safety and fitted with all the creature comforts required for a good night's rest.

Abu Camp is set in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Its unique Star Bed offers guests the opportunity to sleep under the vast night sky, while overlooking the enclosure (boma) where the Abu elephant herd sleeps. The Star Bed is comprised of two levels, a lower deck with ablution facilities and an upper deck with a comfortable queen-sized bed.

Kalahari Plains Camp is located in the diverse and productive Central Kalahari Game Reserve – the largest conservation area in Botswana, and one of the largest in the world. Each of the camp's eight en-suite rooms offer an unparalleled view of the night sky from a rooftop sleeping platform accessed by a staircase, offering guests the flexibility to sleep in or out as the mood takes them.


A remote Okavango Delta hide accessed by guests at Tubu Tree Camp (and Little Tubu) offers a spectacular platform from which to enjoy passing wildlife. At night, the hide is transformed into a Star Bed that provides an immersive sleep-out experience surrounded by the sights, sounds and scents of the wilderness.

Newly rebuilt in 2019, Jao Camp is set among islands fringed with riverine forests and vast floodplains teeming with wildlife. This Okavango camp offers guests a nearby Star Bed (roughly a 20 minute drive from camp). Fall asleep surrounded by the cacophonous night sounds and awake to a 360-degree panoramic view over the plains.


Savuti Camp is set in the private Linyanti Concession along the Savute Channel - a sporadic and unusual watercourse. This much-loved safari camp offers a sleep-out experience at one of two platforms: Southern Cross or Orion. The platforms are located approximately 20 minutes from camp, and sleep two guests each.


Doro Nawas rests on the edge of the dry Aba-Huab River overlooking ancient Namibian landscape with glorious views of the rugged Damaraland area. Each of the 16 rooms has a deck that converts into a space for stargazing or sleeping outdoors. Being far-removed from pollution and unnatural light sources, Namibia is a remarkable place to appreciate the night sky.


Kulala Desert Lodge is situated at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei Dunes and is the closest lodge to this UNESCO World Heritage site. The camp is comprised of 23 thatched and canvas "kulalas" (which means "to sleep" in the local language), each built on a wooden platform with a flat rooftop for sleeping in the tranquility of endless space, beneath star-studded skies.

Linkwasha is a luxurious camp that lies in a private concession in the game-rich south-eastern corner of Hwange National Park. At night guests can opt to sleep out at Scott's Pan, a Star Bed located roughly 15 minutes from Linkwasha. The small waterhole directly in front of Scott's Pan is a magnet for wildlife and it is not uncommon to spot animals arriving for a late night drink.



Like Linkwasha, Little Makalolo has a Star Bed at Madison Pan, a productive watering hole. The Star Bed also features its own wood-fired oven for pizza – a delicious and unusual treat to enjoy in the wilderness.

  Located within a large private concession in the heart of the Zambezi Valley at Mana Pools National Park, Ruckomechi Camp overlooks the mighty Zambezi River. Ruckomechi's Star Bed is about 400 yards from the camp and guests can enjoy dinner or breakfast at this romantic and secluded spot.


 It was wildest, untouched Africa, and it was magic.

- Jane Goodall


Breakfast at Busanga Bush Camp
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