If you think you’ve already seen the night sky’s twinkling stars in all their glory, think again. Stargazing somewhere remote in Africa, with the continent’s low light and air pollution and wide open spaces, is an experience you have to live to believe. And it’s not just about finding a spot, rolling out a blanket, and staring into the sky (although you can do exactly that if you prefer to keep things simple). Various travel suppliers have created extra special stargazing encounters, from sleep-outs on skybeds, to dedicated stargazer rooms. Does it get any more romantic than that?
Here are Team GILTEDGE’s picks for dizzying romance under African skies.
1. Lion Sands Tinyeleti Treehouse
Where? Lion Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa.
What to expect: This elevated treehouse puts you in a prime position to appreciate the bush and the stars. It has a 540 square feet deck and views of the Sabie River. Get your taste buds ready for a private picnic dinner where it’s just the two of you, the sprawling African savannah, and the starry sky above. When it’s time to turn in for the night, you’ll get cozy in a bed on the deck itself (equipped with mosquito nets to ensure peaceful sleep).
Other perks for couples: Most couples who spend a night at the treehouse also book a stay at either Narina or Tinga Lodge. Both have luxurious rooms, with king-size beds, air conditioning, and outdoor showers, as well as a spa and private pools.
“This is probably one of the best and most unique forms of accommodation in the world. If you have a bucket list and you are in the Kruger National Park, make it a point to stay at Narina Lodge and spend a night at the tree house.” – Olwethu Bushula via Google Reviews.
Where? Khwai Private Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
What to expect: Get settled on a three-storey raised platform that will have you feeling as though you’re close enough to reach up and touch the stars. Plus, the platform overlooks a waterhole that welcomes wildlife throughout the day and night, so prepare to feel conflicted about whether to look up or down! When it’s time for bed, you’ll cuddle up in a double bed, equipped with a feather duvet and silky, soft linen.
Other perks for couples: You’ll also enjoy hospitality at one (or more) of the Delta’s best-loved camps: Hyena Pan, Tuludi, Sable Alley, and Little Sable. Sable Alley is a favorite among GILTEDGE guests, featuring gorgeous lagoon views and a special honeymoon tent for lovebirds.
“We spent one extraordinary night at Skybeds during our Botswana safari, and it was truly an extraordinary experience! Skybeds has three platforms for up to six guests and one main platform to enjoy your dinner and breakfast. We had a lion pride roaming the camp at night, and it was really exciting to hear and see the pride walking past our platform. Thank you for this extraordinary experience that we can highly recommend to anyone staying in the area!” – Mone_HH via TripAdvisor.
- Kwessi Dunes Stargazer Rooms
Where? NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia.
What to expect: You might not think of the desert as the most romantic of places, but it’s so much more than just miles of sand. Think towering red dunes, mystical fairy circles, and craggy mountains. Kwessi Dunes is a haven inside the NamibRand Nature Reserve (Africa’s first designated International Dark Sky Reserve), most famous for its stargazer rooms. Each of the camp’s 12 chalets comes with its own stargazer room, a separate, open-air space granting an almost limitless view of the stars.
Other perks for couples: While the stargazer rooms are undoubtedly the main stand-out, the camp’s solar-powered chalets promise all your creature comforts, from indoor and outdoor showers to air conditioning. Relaxing couple’s spa treatments can be arranged if you’d like to relax with a massage or facial, and there’s the chance to appreciate your surroundings from an entirely new perspective on a hot air balloon safari.
“This is a superb place to explore some of the nearby attractions: most visitors to Namibia want to visit Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem Canyon, and you can do all these while staying at Kwessi Dunes. Another aspect to Kwessi Dunes is its Dark Sky Reserve. It’s part of a global partnership that tries to preserve the night and nocturnal wildlife and environment. So, each chalet has a bed in a “stargazer” room in which we spent an hour each night. We just looked at the stars and the sky. If you’re like most visitors here, you’re probably from a busy city and from the Northern Hemisphere. This night sky is something else.” – Manish S via TripAdvisor.
- Segera Retreat’s Nay Palad Bird Nest
Where? Laikipia Plateau, Mount Kenya, Kenya.
What to expect: If you’re looking for ultra-unique accommodation options in Africa, few can beat Segera Retreat’s Nay Palad Bird Nest, nestled amid the treetops on the banks of a river overflowing with wildlife. It’s so quaintly designed that it actually looks like a bird’s nest – only neater and much more luxurious! You can look forward to sleeping in the bird nest under the stars, taking in the glorious sounds of the wildlife around you on top of the expansive views above. Bliss!
Other perks for couples: Segera Retreat continues to pull out all the stops, with plenty of options to help you reconnect with nature and each other. Think discovering age-old Kenyan bee-keeping traditions, shopping for hand-made beadwork at the SATUBO beading collaborative, embarking on an art tour, and treats and cuddles with anti-poaching tracker dogs.
“Highlight of 2023! The people, the experience, the hospitality, the food, the views, the rooms. Everything was magical.” – Bakhitasue Nduta via Google Reviews.
- Mwiba Lodge Fly Camping
Where? Southern Serengeti, Tanzania.
What to expect: You’ve probably considered ‘glamping’, but what about fly camping? Mwiba Lodge in Tanzania is one of Africa’s best-loved lodges now offering this experience, allowing you to sleep out in the bush (usually walking to your fly camp on foot) with minimal ‘luxuries’ for a more authentic encounter with nature. It’s one of the most memorable ways to appreciate the star-studded sky and truly disconnect from any digital distractions.
Other perks for couples: Fly camping at Mwiba Lodge is just the beginning of your romantic getaway. You’ll also enjoy a few nights in one of the tented suites, each furnished with a king-size bed, air-cooling equipment, and mosquito nets. Top that off with day and night safaris, all-day safaris, walking safaris, helicopter adventures, sunset viewing, bush picnics, and sundowners.
“My stay at Mwiba Lodge was a transformative experience that left me inspired. This is not just a destination; it’s a testament to what can be achieved when luxury and conservation coexist harmoniously. If you’re seeking a place that not only indulges your senses but also contributes directly to the preservation of our planet’s precious ecosystems, Mwiba Lodge is the destination of choice.” – Beata Suwala via Google Reviews.
Ready for romance? Let GILTEDGE help plan the ultimate bespoke escape for the two of you. Let us know your dream destination and what makes you tick, and we’ll do the rest! Contact us today.