Glamping (glam + camping, naturally) has become more comfortable, exciting and popular than ever before. From cabins and huts to tents and chalets, there’s a diverse selection of accommodation on offer in the luxury-camping arena. And, with winter around the corner, there’s hardly a better time to get cosy at one of these pitch-perfect spots. Have we left one of your favourites out? Then please add it in the comments below.
1. Buffalo Drift
Image credit: Buffalo Drift
What Located on a farm in Tulbagh and Yzerfontein, this site offers a variety of accommodation types and is a popular venue for functions. The luxury tented camps on the Tulbagh side are suitable for romantic getaways, or for a family looking for something different. They sleep a maximum of four people, and have a balcony that overlooks your private stretch of the Berg River.
Facilities The self-catering tents have an equipped kitchenette, as well as a private braai area. Each has its own ensuite bathroom with a shower, basin and toilet, as well as plug points. They also have have easy access to a private stretch of the Berg River.
Activities Saddle up and explore the scenic Tulbagh Valley on horseback, or stock up on birthstones, suncatchers, chimes, crystals and beaded goods (if that’s your thing) at Crystal Cave. Clay-pigeon shooting and Paintball are available on the farm, but should be booked two weeks in advance.
Cost R300 per person sharing per night
R400 per single
R200 per child (12 – 18 years) per night
R125 per child (under 12) per night
Contact 023 232 9901, info@Buffalodrift.co.za
Where to find it De Heuvel Farm on the R46, Between Tulbagh and Wolseley in the Cape Winelands
2. Bush Camp, !Khwa ttu
Image credit: khwattu.org
What Just over an hour out of Cape Town, this place gets its name from (and is inspired by) the ancient San culture. There are five modern tents spaced along a meandering path that seamlessly blend in with the surrounding bushes, each of which sleeps two people (with the option of adding an extra bed).
Facilities Bathroom facilities are communal, and include a delightful outdoor shower. The camp is solar-powered and has a central kitchen and a boma with a fireplace.
Activities The San-guided experience includes a game drive, a walk in nature to learn about their tracking skills, a demonstration of the ancient tools they used, a photo exhibition and the screening of an ethnographic film.
Cost R250 per person per night (includes breakfast)
Contact 022 492 2998, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Grootwater Farm, R27, Yzerfontein
3. Elgin Hills Luxury Tented Camp
Image credit: groupon.co.za
What Situated on the Palmiet River, Elgin Hills is all about comfort and warm hospitality. Each tent is built on a solid base among sturdy indigenous trees and has its own deck and chairs to lounge on.
Facilities Ensuite bathrooms are equipped with a shower and loo. Standard tents sleep two people on queen-size beds; larger tents can fit an extra bed for children if required. The camp is completely self-catering with a lapa providing full kitchen facilities for guests.
Activities The Palmiet River flows through the camp, with a lapa at the top of the hill with amazing views of the meandering river and wooded valley below. There are wonderful walks in the wooded hills and surrounding fruit farms, and The Elgin Apple Museum is one of only two apple museums in the world!
NB Camp is closed in June and July
Cost R350 per person sharing per night (1 May – 30 September)
R500 per person per night (1 May – 30 September)
R550 per person sharing for one night (1 October – 30 April)
R450 per person per night sharing for two nights or more ( 1 October – 30 April)
R505 per person per night (1 October – 30 April)
Contact 021 846 8119, email@example.com
Where to find it Elgin Hills Estate, Appletiser Road, Grabouw
4. Lancewood Tipi Lodge
Image credit: sleeping-out.co.za
What For camping with a Native American twist… There are two main areas: the Paws TiPi site and Magic TiPi Lodge. Paws has two tents: one sleeps two people and the other sleeps five. Magic has one five-person teepee. Once any one of the TiPis has been booked, the whole site is exclusively yours for the duration of your visit.
Facilities TiPis have double or single beds, sleeper couches and other furniture. Both sites have a private outdoor shower and wash basins, complete with hot water from solar- or gas-powered geysers. Each site has a fully equipped cooking area, as well as a private braai area.
NB The lodge is dog-friendly, and charges R50 per pooch.
Activities Those after a spot of relaxation can enjoy a refreshing mountain-facing dip in the lodge pool, or a massage treatment at the lodge. For something a bit more energetic, there is field archery, clay-pigeon shooting, hiking, walking and bird-watching.
Cost R190 (first two people)
R150 (per person thereafter)
Contact 023 626 6115, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Assegai Farm, Klaasvoogds West, Robertson, Western Cape
5. African Game Lodge
Where Near Montagu
What The ultimate African getaway is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive out of Cape Town. Completely off the grid, the farm uses solar energy for power. There are two luxury tents – Leopard Luxury Tent (a five-minute walk from the main lodge) and Caracal Bush Camp (right next to the dam) – from where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the stunning koppies and perhaps spot one or both of the lodge’s cheetahs from your private deck.
Facilities Leopard Luxury has no cooking facilities, as guests dine at the lodge, but there are tea- and coffee-making facilities. Caracal Bush has a small kitchen for preparing meals. Both tents have a private bathroom and hot water.
Activities Nature lovers will love the game-viewing drives, while fitness fanatics might enjoy a spot of hiking and mountain-biking. And for the history buffs, there’s a Bushman Paintings drive. There’s also a dam at the lodge for swimming (no fishing), and guests can join staff as they feed the resident cheetahs in the mornings and evenings.
Cost Leopard Luxury Tent, R850 per person per night (bed, breakfast and dinner)
Caracal Bush Camp, R520 per person per night
Contact 023 6143176, email@example.com
Where to find it Driekuilshoogte Pad, Montagu, Western Cape
6. Slanghoek Mountain Resort
What For a quiet yet exhilarating getaway, this family-friendly resort ticks all the boxes. There are various accommodation options: log cabins, chalets, a camp site, as well as luxury safari tents, which can sleep a family of four.
Facilities Each tent has a private en-suite shower and toilet, a small equipped kitchen, as well as an outdoor seating and a braai area. The communal swimming pool is great for cooling down.
Activities There’s an 18-hole Putt-Putt course, horse-riding, fishing in the dam and walking trails to the lookout point and the waterfall.
Cost R600 per unit per night (two-sleeper, low season)
R660 per unit per night (two-sleeper, high season)
R800 per unit per night (four-sleeper, low season)
R880 per unit per night (four-sleeper, high season)
Contact 023 344 3138, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Off R101, Rawsonville, Western Cape
7. De Pakhuys
What Located in Rocklands, and surrounded by rugged but spectacularly beautiful rock formations, this farm has a number of accommodation options available. The large luxury tents – Dassie Den, Porcupine Place and the new Tortoise Terrace – can sleep up to three people and are sheltered from the sun and rain by a discreet roof canopy. The wooden Campsite Cabins are set among the tall trees and fynbos.
Facilities The site is off grid, but there’s hot water, a gas fridge and lights, and each site has its own gas stove and braai facilities. The luxury tents have private bathrooms, while the cabins share an ablution facility. And for the Instagramers, there is prepaid wifi.
Activities There are a number of walking trails such as the Kloof Walking Trail, the Waterfall Trail and the longer Heuningvlei trail, after which a dip in the farm lake comes highly recommended. Are you fit? Then you’ll love the bouldering opportunities all over the Rocklands.
Cost Dassie Den, from R600 per night for the unit
Porcupine Place, from R500 per night for the unit
Tortoise Terrace, from R450 per night for the unit
Cabins, R250 per unit per night: single
Cabins, R135 per unit per night: sharing
Contact 083 604 1459, email@example.com
Where to find it R364, Rocklands, Clanwilliam
8. Thali Thali Game Lodge
Image credit: safarinow.com
Where near Langebaan
What All the beauty and tranquility of the West Coast is on display at this family-run fynbos reserve, where the deer are so friendly they’ve been known to wander into the lodge and hang out with the guests. Five luxury ensuite tents are available, and the nearby farmhouse has a porch for relaxing on sunny days and a roaring fireplace for the cold West Coast winters.
Facilities You won’t find a TV in the tent, but there’s a fridge, toaster, kettle and microwave, as well as a double bed, sleeper couch. There’s also an outdoor stoep and braai area.
Activities The restaurant is worth the trip itself, offering fresh meat and bread platters along with mesmerising views of the night sky. Game drives and walking tours are available, as well as archery lessons provided by accredited coaches. There’s even a 3D archery course for those looking to experience the thrill of the hunt.
Cost R855 per person per night (single)
R575 per person per night (sharing)
50% off for children aged 5 to 12
Free for children under 5
Contact 082 372 8637, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Zoutekuilen Farm, Route 27, Langebaan, 7357
9. Dwyka Tented Lodge
What Surrounded by 350-million-year-old rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a sacred, hidden place. It was once home to the Khoisan people, and their paintings – some of which date back more than 3 500 years – can be seen at various points around the reserve. It’s about three hours drive from Cape Town but worth the trip for those seeking solitude.
Facilities Each of the nine luxury tents sleeps two adults. All are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, shower and basin, mini-bar, tea and coffee facilities, heating and cooling, and even a private deck with a Jacuzzi. The lodge also has a lounge with a fireplace and satellite TV, an open-air dining area, wi-fi, a sauna and a wine cellar.
Activities The Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to at least seven recorded sites containing San rock art. Guided tours offer a glimpse into these remnants of a now-extinct culture, and there are also game drives and hiking trails for those looking to experience the wide-open Karoo and the diversity of wildlife that inhabits it.
R6 895 per adult (1 January – 11 January, February, 15 December – 31 December)
R6 235 per adult (12 – 31 January, March – April, 1 October – 14 December
R4 960 per adult (1 May – 30 September)
50% off for children aged 4–11
Free for children under 3 (not allowed on game drives)
Contact 021 010 0028, email@example.com
Where to find it Route 62 between Montagu and Barrydale.
10. Kuganha Tented Camp
Image credit: Kuganha.com
Where Ceres Karoo
What The Kuganha Tented Camp is a new addition to the Inverdoorn Game Reserve, providing true immersion in the Klein Karoo wilderness despite being just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town. The three luxury safari tents are surrounded by free-roaming wildlife – it’s not uncommon to wake up to the sight of elephants wandering around the campsite and washing their trunks in the nearby pool.
Facilities Each of the two-sleeper tents encircles a shaded lounge with a fireplace and braai area. There is no TV, wi-fi or cellphone service at the camp (bliss), although all are available at the nearby Iziba Safari Lodge, along with a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, dining area and bar.
Activities Inverdoorn safaris take place early in the morning followed by lunch at the lodge, and also at night when certain wildlife species are more active. All of the big five could potentially be spotted on these safari drives, along with a variety of other wildlife including antelopes, springbok, giraffes and hippo. You can also visit the cheetah and rhino sanctuaries, where you’ll gain a new appreciation for the work that goes into protecting these threatened species from poachers and habitat loss.
NB children under the age of four are not allowed on safaris, and children under the age of 16 are not allowed on cheetah interactions.
Cost R4 850 per person (includes meals, drinks and safaris)
Contact 021 434 4639, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Route 356, Sutherland Road, 6835
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