The World's Coolest Camping Experiences
Published on: September 29th, 2017
Last modified: November 8th, 2023
Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in the surroundings of wherever it is you're visiting.
From sleeping suspended on a cliff-edge to high-style glamping in the Serengeti, camping is always adventurous.
Here's our pick of 11 of the world's coolest camping experiences.
Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru
To reach the camp, you will have to either clamber up the 400 metres of Via Ferrata or hike and zip-line your way to the base, led by a professional guide. Once there, you’ll be rewarded by a gourmet dinner, wine – and those views.
There are three sturdy pods with four beds in each ‘suite’, dining areas and private bathrooms. There’s solar-powered lighting to illuminate the pods when night falls, and even curtains, should vertigo get the better of you.
Okavango Delta Mobile Camp, Botswana
Explore the Okavango Delta with the true flexibility that a mobile camp offers. Although there’s no electricity, you’ll be far from ‘roughing it’; the tents are decked out in 1920s-style furnishings, with feather bedding, cotton sheets, iron bed frames, copper water jugs and paraffin lamps.
While this mobile camp is not the most luxurious tented camp in Africa, it does promise one of the most fascinating, exciting safaris you’re likely to experience. For the ultimate mobile safari, book one of the best guides in Africa: Ralph Bousfield.
For the ultimate adventure, the six pods of Whichaway Camp offer excellent levels of comfort in spite of the hostile environment. The domed white capsules are insulated and heated, with double or twin beds and an en-suite toilet. Rather than having to base oneself at sea, the camping option allows explorers to see more of this stark landscape, with ice caves, penguin colonies, hiking, abseiling and climbing all available from the camp.
Four Seasons Tented Camp, Thailand
Set in a thick bamboo forest and on a riverbank just outside Chiang Rai, you can also choose to arrive by traditional long-tail boat if travelling by car doesn’t seem quite exotic enough. Decompress with a luxurious 90-minute massage – the spa here is superb.
Bamurru Plains, Australia
This luxury bush camp can be found within vast swathes of land to the west of Kakudu National Park, providing its guests with unparalleled access to pristine coastal floodplains, savannah woodland and paperbark swamps.
Combine ultimate luxury with a rare opportunity to reconnect with nature in the camp’s ten safari-style bungalows whose decor reflects the region’s indigenous, hunting and pastoral history.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kili is the highest peak in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Climbers will experience an array of landscapes before they reach the snow-capped summit – known as the ‘roof of Africa’ – from verdant forests to parched savannah.
At the end of an exhausting day on the mountain, you’ll look forward to taking the weight off your feet at the Maasai-style dining table and then crawling into your warm sleeping bag in your own tent – even in the absence of a two-person Jacuzzi on its outdoor deck.
Selinda Explorers Camp, Botswana
Authenticity meets bohemian panache in the unobtrusive canvas shaded camp, drawing on the traditions of classic East African safari style with furniture made from recycled hard woods, and soft furnishings from Zanzibar and the East.
Luxury does not go unattended to here, each tent possessing its own private verandah from which to watch the prolific wildlife wander by, and en-suite, open air ‘bustani bathrooms’ with explorer themed hot water bucket showers and flush porcelain toilets.
Thorsmork Canyon Camping, Iceland
From May to September, this private camping trip takes place in the stunning area of Thorsmörk, in a protected valley surrounded by three glaciers and close to the volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull (we all know that one) and Fimmvörðuháls.
Spend a night camping in expedition tents in a remote canyon, armed with warm sleeping bags, foam isolation mattresses and thermarest air mattresses to keep out the chilly night air.
During this expedition, you’ll hike around the trails, canyons and creeks of the area; embark on superjeep tours; enjoy evening barbecues around the campfire; and, for the adventurous, trek up the Fimmvörðuháls volcano.
Galapagos Safari Camp
The Galápagos Safari Camp is based on Santa Cruz island and has nine luxury, safari-style tents, with double beds, en-suite bathrooms and private terraces. There’s a main lodge with an infinity pool, restaurant and lounge, all decorated with the eclectic antiques and furnishings collected by the owners during their travels.
Being based on an island doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on all the activities of a cruise. There are various trips available from the camp, including scuba diving with gliding rays and colourful fish shoals; island tours to visit lazy sea lion colonies; and even specialised surf and yoga trips.
Luangwa Bush Camping, Zambia
One of Africa’s most exclusive wilderness experiences, this tented camp gives you all the adventure of going back the basics without depriving you of your creature comforts.
Venture out from a fixed camp on a walk deep into the bush, camping out in the wild for a couple of nights as you journey towards your next seclulded lodge, accompanied by a top-class guide.
Amanwana, Moyo Island, Indonesia
If you like the idea of camping, but aren’t so keen on the reality, then Amanwana might be just the ticket. From the island, which is also a protected nature reserve, guests can take a morning kayak around the bay; soak up the romance of the setting on a sunset cruise; discover waterfalls hidden in the jungle; or embrace the ‘glamping’ theme with a campfire dinner.
Located on its own Indonesian island, Moyo, Amanwana is just a 90-minute flight from Bali. There are 20 tents that make up the camp, but the term ‘tent’ is to be used loosely; with hardwood floors, large windows and even air-conditioning, the only thing that really makes these structures seem like tents is the canvas roof.
Patagonia Camp, Torres del Paine, Chile
Luxury camps in South America are hard to come by, but Patagonia Camp is undoubtedly amongst the best. Overlooking a Patagonian lake, surrounded by emerald-green forests and jagged, snow-capped peaks, each of the yurts is – thankfully – heated, but with plenty of opportunities to imbibe the scenery, from the private terrace to the star-gazing skylight.
The 18 luxury yurts are located just outside the sublime Torres del Paine National Park, making for easy access from the camp. You can take treks of varying difficulty, go horse riding, kayak around the lakes, or take a boat trip up the Serrano River to visit some of the region’s gigantic glaciers.
Bukima Camp, DRC, Africa
The Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) used to be a very difficult place to travel to, but things are changing and the country is slowly opening up to visitors. Virunga National Park – Africa’s oldest national park and the subject of a major new award-winning documentary – is one of central Africa’s new top destinations.
The main draws are the mountain gorillas; indeed, they were the main reason the park was founded back in 1925. From Bukima Tented Camp, which is just outside the park and was originally used by researchers, you can head off on gorilla treks – unless they happen to come to you, which sometimes happens much to the park staff’s disapproval.
The tents are set on platforms with thatched roofs and adjacent bathrooms. From the camp, the view is spectacular, with Mt. Mikeno towering in one direction and the active volcano Nyiragongo illuminating the night’s sky with its ominous red glow in another.
Sal Salis, Australia
The vibrant Ningaloo Reef is one of Australia’s best kept secrets, and there’s no better way to discover it than from Sal Salis’ 16 wilderness tents nestled in the dunes of the Cape Ranga National Park.
This glamorous eco-luxe camp has been constructed to cause minimal impact on the environment, and provides no internet connection or WIFI, offering you a rare chance to escape from the non-stop noise of everyday life.
Each of the spacious tents enjoys an en-suite and private viewing deck. The minimalist style here allows you to let go and embrace your natural surroundings in a way most people rarely ever get the chance to do.
Meno a Kwena, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
When you’re not watching the incredible wildlife from your veranda (or even from the camp’s swimming pool), head out on cultural walks with the Bushmen and sleep out on the pans under the stars for a night you’ll never forget.
The Serai, Rajasthan
21 spacious canvas tents with stylish interiors and a terrace lounge, 6 of which have their own private walled garden and plunge pool, ensure the ultimate luxury. For the full experience, choose the Royal Tented Suite which has its own spa, outdoor pool and separate tents to dine and lounge in.