If your idea of a romantic camping getaway involves sleeping bags on the floor or searching for a communal lavatory in the dark, you’re doing it wrong. With the wide selection of luxury tented camps available in South Africa, camping – or “glamping” as it has been dubbed – is fast becoming one of the most popular romantic getaways.
Ngama Tented Safari Lodge, Limpopo
What more of an atmosphere could you ask for than the earthy smell of canvas on the bushveld breeze, the distant call of wild animals, and the quiet flickering of lanterns? Ngama Tented Safari Lodge is an intimate safari camp on the Guernsey Private Nature Reserve in Hoedspruit. Guests can enjoy walking or birding safaris around the reserve, as well as exhilarating Big 5 sightings at the neighbouring Kruger National Park. The tented chalets are modern and spacious, with king-sized beds and en-suite bathrooms. Each tent has been carefully designed to offer exquisite views of the natural surrounds while offering plenty of privacy.
Ngala Tented Camp, Mpumalanga
andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp in the Kruger National Park brings together everything that is good about nature and the modern world. While the camp’s setting on the banks of the Timbavati River makes it impossible to forget you’re in the bush, you’ll find nothing primitive about this contemporary setup. Each suite is elegant and sophisticated, perfectly harmonising the romance of canvas with the comforts of sleek furniture and polished wooden decks.
Botlierskop Private Game Reserve, Western Cape
Beautifully positioned in the Outeniqua Mountains of the luscious Garden Route, Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is a scenic 4-hour drive from Cape Town. Guests can enjoy game viewing and guided walks through the reserve, as well as up-close encounters with elephants in the form of feedings, picnics, and elephant back rides. The air-conditioned tented suites are all elegantly decorated in a colonial fashion, complete with 4-poster beds and draping mosquito nets. The en-suite bathrooms feature deep oval baths and outdoor showers. Choose from Executive Tented Suites, larger Family Tented Suites, Deluxe Tented Suites overlooking the river, or Luxury Tented Suites in mountainous surroundings with views of the river from a distance.
Thanda Tented Camp, KwaZulu-Natal
Meaning “love” in isiZulu, Thanda is the ultimate romantic safari experience. Guests can enjoy dining amongst authentic African curios, lounging around a rim-flow pool, and exclusive encounters with the Big 5. The spacious tents are both relaxed and luxurious, each with a private sun deck and en-suite bathroom that enhance the inviting nature of the bush. The additional Jabula Tent is the ideal choice for honeymooners and guests celebrating a special occasion. Although the camp is non-electrified, there is limited solar and battery power as well as a back-up generator that powers the tents for a few hours every day. Children under 12 years old are not permitted.
Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp, Mpumalanga
There’s no need to duck under zip-up doorways at the secluded Hamiltons Tented Safari Camp in Skukuza. These roomy and elegant suites each have an open tented lounge, private veranda, romantic slipper bath, and outdoor shower overlooking the Ngwenyeni Dam. If that doesn’t have your loved one swooning, the butler service and personalised gourmet cuisine ought to do it.
Which luxury tented camp in South Africa sounds the most romantic to you? Do you have any other recommendations?
Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround.
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