You startle awake. Kick him. Roll over. Only the snoring continues. You blearily open your eyes. Startled by how dark it is. Yet somewhere overhead a billion tiny lights twinkle. As branches sway to the breeze in the corner of your vision you suddenly remember where you are. And you realise its not snoring at all that woke you up but a hippo snorting away some two metres below your treetop sanctuary.
Another time, another planet. You lie on the roof of your desert oasis as the sun, the reddest you’ve ever seen it, slowly sinks below the horizon line – which seems to stretch out to eternity. And as the world takes on the slightly fuzzy feeling that dusk brings, a jackal calls in the distance. His tone matched by the whooping of his dinner buddy, a lone hyena, followed by his friends as their eerie calls turn to cackles of laughter. Here with just your favourite human by your side, a stirring of something primal awakens.
The Wilderness Star Bed experience
Go beyond rose petal filled bathtubs and romantic candle-lit dinners, to an intimate experience like no other. Combine seclusion, romance, and a healthy dose of thrill and adrenaline when you stay in one of our Wilderness Star Bed sleep outs. Climb high into the trees and breathe deep as you discover a place devoid of other human life, a rare find, yet rarer still to see it abundant with wildlife. Share a drink with the buffalo, gripping the hand of your partner a little tighter when a lion roars somewhere in the distance. Then get cosy in your sanctuary made for two for an early bedtime but between the adrenaline, the romance, and the night noises we can’t guarantee much sleep. But we can guarantee a night to remember.
From the clear night skies of Namibia, to the elephant wonderlands of Botswana, experience a rare form of privacy in some of Africa’s most remote areas.
Venture up the stairs to your private rooftop & discover the best stargazing experiences on Earth.
Sleep in a hide overlooking the mighty Linyanti River and famed elephant pathways.
Sundowners at Scott’s Pan watching the parade of wildlife that come to the waterhole for a drink.
Get back to basics in your treetop hideaway overlooking a nearby pan.
Nestled in trees of wonder the Tubu Tree Star Bed is the perfect honeymoon getaway.
Star Bed FAQs
What does a Star Bed room look like?
A Star Bed is an open-air structure in the remote wilderness offering a completely unique sleep out experience. Each of our safari Star Beds are different; while some offer just a basic deck and queen-size bed nestled in the trees, others are like mini safari suites. For instance, the Savuti Star Bed, set some three metres off the ground and facing wildlife-rich channels, has a wooden roof, open-air dining area, sunken living room, and even its own fire pit.
Is there a bathroom at the Star Bed?
Yes, all of our Star Beds are equipped with lavatories. However, each one is unique and the one you choose may be determined by your level of bravery. For instance, Wilderness Jao in the Okavango Delta, has a long-drop style toilet located down the stairs and a 10 metre walk away – not for the faint-hearted – while Wilderness Little Makalolo, in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, has a flush toilet and wash basin on the same level as your bed – for those who don’t want to mix a close-call toilet emergency with a close-sight leopard encounter.
How far will I be from camp?
Our Star Beds are located about a 15-40 minute drive from main camp. You will be transported to the Star Bed on a game drive vehicle and/or boat depending on the camp, of course enjoying a spot of wildlife watching along the way. All sleep outs are only accessible weather permitting, with some in our wetter safari areas, only available during the dry season.
Will I eat my meals at the Star Bed?
You may decide to only venture off to the Star Bed after dining in camp or, if booked in advance, as part of your romantic night out in the wild, our chef can come to you to prepare a candlelight dinner for two. In the morning you’ll enjoy a light breakfast before departing on the morning activity, or if sunrise is simply too early for you to eat you may be treated to an on-the-go breakfast during your game drive. There’s nothing like sharing your bush breakfast with hippos and zebras in front of a waterhole.
Will I be alone?
Yes, all of our Star Beds are one-of-a-kind platforms set up specifically for you in the wild. There are no other guests around, although we can't promise that you'll be completely alone. You may be visited by some elephants who've come to drink at the nearby river, or a hippo grazing in the dead of night.
Is a Star Bed safe?
All our Star Beds are raised off the ground, to offer you protection from hippos out on nightly sojourns or any possible predators that may be lurking around. While we don’t envisage any problems during your night under the stars, we do provide you a radio to a guide sleeping not too far away (but not too close either) should you feel uneasy.
Are bugs a problem during a sleep out?
With a natural breeze through your room (there are no walls after all), your stay should be pretty bug-free. But if the sundowner G&Ts aren’t enough to keep the mosquitos away, then the mosquito nets surrounding your bed aren’t just for show.
Do I book for the Star Bed separately?
To stay at most Wilderness Star Beds you will need to book a minimum of a three-night stay, although some exceptions are made. During the dry season, you will need to book your Star Bed in advance however during the wet season this may not be possible as the experience is weather dependent. All Star Beds are also subject to availability.
Although booking of a private vehicle is not required at all Wilderness camps it is recommended to really get the most out of those late-night drives and early-morning safaris. This will need to be done prior to your stay although should a Star Bed not be available for any reason, the price of the private vehicle is unfortunately non-refundable.
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.