Backyard camping is all well and good, but why not try glamping at some of Mr & Mrs Smith’s exclusive tented temptations. Glimpse playful baboons and prancing antelopes from a private-viewing deck in Africa or live the life of a wealthy merchant Berber at Sir Richard Branson’s kasbah in Morocco, surrounded by gilded lights, intricate mosaics and billowing overhead canopies. There’s fun for the whole family at these spectacular stays that combine luxury with the beauty of natural surroundings and the romance of nomadic living…
Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Best for: Creature comforts
Style: Rustic safari chic
Setting: Under African skies
Picture this: hippos lolling around in the Lower Zambesi River just outside your door and curious monkeys swinging through the trees above, while you take au natural to the next level in the outdoor bathrooms of the luxurious tents at Chiawa Camp. You’ll be rising with the sun and dining al fresco by the river bank on unique Afro/Euro cuisine for breakfast, lunch and tea; for a bit of fun, order in via the two-way radio found in each tent. Little ones will love glimpsing local wildlife from the private game-viewing decks in each tent after reading up about their favourites in the camp’s fully-stocked library or taking a dip in the unheated plunge-pool after a dusty safari day. All the chalets are of equal bush-tent grandeur, but the Superior Safari Tent I is the most private.
Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Marrakech
Best for: Marrakech markets
Style: Bountiful Berber oasis
Setting: Mountainous Morocco
There are nine luxurious Berber tents in Sir Richard’s idyllic Moroccan oasis, Kasbah Tamadot. Set just a stroll away from the Master Suite, through the herb and vegetable gardens, you’ll find richly textured and coloured fabrics underneath a billowing canopy – not to mention a private Jacuzzi and deck to take in the Atlas Mountains on the near horizon. Resident mules Paprika, Peppermint and Peanut will give tykes the ride of their life around the foothills of the mountains and the surrounding valley. Alternatively, the whole family can take a trip to nearby Marrakech to peruse the exotic markets and enjoy tasty tagines filled with local cuisine.
Paperbark Camp, Woollamia, Australia
Best for: Bushwhacking and kangaroo-spotting
Style: Back to (stylish) basics
Setting: Barefoot bush luxury
At Paperbark Camp, the tents are named after local wildlife and nestled among paperbarks and fragrant eucalypts. This tented terroir harks back to traditional camping with its eco-friendly policies and distinct lack of technology. Kookaburra has optimum privacy, but is close to the action for some kayaking with the whole family at first light. Enjoy house-made granola, Single Origin coffee and Sunday Pisco (sour) and Paella nights at the Gunyah dining room, where Chilean chef Emilio Erazo showcases local seafood with a touch of South American style. Snorkel and surf at nearby Jervis Bay when the sun is shining, then explore the trees by torchlight at night to spot some furry friends.