Imagine lying in a comfortable bed with the entire sky above you afloat with the twinkling lights of the galaxy. Upscale Living magazine went in search of these mind-altering experiences and found some really unique ones in South Africa. It’s a great diversion from counting sheep.

Time + Tide - Norman Carr Safaris, sleep under the stars

Time + Tide Sleep-Out Under the Stars, South Luangwa, Zambia

Leading the way in responsible tourism in Zambia for over 60 years, Time + Tide’s Norman Carr Safaris initiated the Sleep-out under the Stars concept in 2008 in the South Luangwa Valley. This is wild Africa at its best – sleeping out under the stars in the spectacular and extremely remote Luwi dry river bed with just a bed roll, a pillow, and a mosquito net, not even a tent! Follow in the footsteps of the first safari pioneers, including Norman Carr himself, as they discovered the wonders of the South Luangwa. This overnight adventure is only for the most courageous of spirits. Led by one of the top guide and scout teams at Norman Carr Safaris, a maximum of six guests venture out from the remotest bush camp on foot in the mid-afternoon. “It’s a private activity where you find a spot to camp, make a campfire for a game ranger’s dinner, and then relax with a cool drink,” explains Mindy Roberts from Time + Tide Africa. “Then, having shared adventure stories around the fire, sleep out under the magnificent African sky whilst the guide and scout keep a watch until morning.” With a surcharge on the nightly rate a camp room is reserved just in case of a last-minute change of heart.


Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Launched in May 2017, the Star Bed at Linkwasha Camp in Zimbabwe encapsulates a truly authentic way to experience this wildlife-rich area whilst partaking in a unique adventure. This incredible setting overlooks the beautiful and productive Scott’s Pan, offering a once-in-a-lifetime sleep-out for guests wanting to get closer to nature while participating in a night under a star-spangled sky. “Linkwasha’s new Star Bed is positioned right in the middle of the action where the animals come to drink at Scott’s Pan and is a wonderful addition to our Hwange offering. In the dry season, the magical elephant experience will be taking place all night long, in front of and all around the Star Bed – offering a life-changing experience for our guests who want an authentic wildlife adventure”, said Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe MD, Ron Goatley. Situated a short drive away from Linkwasha Camp, the Star Bed is built on a platform raised a few meters off the ground. All the bedding and comforts will be set up, especially for guests requesting a sleep-out. The bed will be surrounded by a mosquito net but is otherwise open to the beautiful southern skies; basic ablution facilities are available nearby. A highly qualified guide will accompany guests, sleeping a little further away to be on standby should they require assistance during the night.


Morukuru Family, Madikwe, North West Province, South Africa

Set next to the water’s edge and protected by an electric fence, The Morukuru Hide doubles up as a romantic sleep-out for discerning visitors. During the day, Morukuru guests at Owner’s House, River Lodge, or Farm House can watch animals passing by the prime drinking spot and for a special occasion, request to sleep out under the stars. This is the perfect ending to a day on safari and to rekindle romance or spend time with the family; the hide is big enough to accommodate a family. There is nothing quite like being left alone in a vast plain with the wildlife roaming free, surrounded by the African wilderness. There is no skimping on comfort. “We bring in really comfortable beds with soft duvets, fluffy gowns, slippers, bedside tables, comfortable chairs, a cooler box with drinks and a torch, and there are ablution facilities in the same structure on the lower level,” explains co-owner of Morukuru, Anka Reijnen. “The ‘bedroom’ will be covered by mosquito nets with lots of lanterns for a romantic feel.” Guests will be left on their own with a radio at hand should they decide to call in their ranger or opt to go back to the lodge. Go on, be daring, spend a night in the wild!

Treehouse Safari Lion Sands, South Africa

Kingston Treehouse, Lion Sands, Sabi Sand, South Africa

The ultimate bush bedroom comes in the form of the incredibly luxurious Kingston Treehouse. Constructed entirely of wood and glass, plush furnishings are placed in varying shades of white, black, grey, and purple. Equipped with a full bathroom and shower facilities, double vanities, and fragrant Africology products, you might wonder why you hadn’t tried disconnecting from the world sooner. After making your way through magnificent white boulders and a small drawbridge, you are welcomed with an alfresco picnic at sunset while watching the extensive landscape transforming from day into night. Secure in its construction off the ground, you can rest easily knowing that animals will remain at a safe distance. Sleeping might be an aside as you may want to feast your eyes on the Milky Way and all the clusters speckled above you. Accommodating two adults and two children under 15, Kingston Treehouse is the ideal place for a much-needed digital detox. Your ranger will provide you with a full orientation and will collect you again the following morning after sunrise and your first cup of coffee. He is on call via radio for your convenience. With an imminent warning ‘Once Will Never Be Enough’, you will be sure to return again, and again.