Our top picks for ‘star beds’ and ‘sleep outs’

What a magical way to experience Southern Africa’s great outdoors. We share some of our top choices for star beds and sleep outs.

The Baobab Treehouse at Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana

Situated one kilometre away from the lodge, with a guide stationed close by, guests will experience Africa at its most raw in this sculptural tree house. Set amid a stand of indigenous Croton trees, the striking steel structure – built in the evocative shape of a baobab tree – ascends nearly 10 metres above the floodplain, offering panoramic views from each of its three levels. The bedroom is located on the second level, beautifully appointed with carved timber furniture. Both the bedroom and bathroom spaces have canvas walls that can open up entirely to the outside environment, or be zipped closed to allow for privacy and protection from the elements. At the top of the ‘baobab’ is an open-air deck for lounging, reading and watching wildlife pass undisturbed below. If you choose to, spend the night in the open-air king-size bed – to marvel at the jet-black sky punctured by the stars of the southern sky.

Lion Sands Treehouses

Lion Sands boasts three absolutely stunning tree houses offering you a complete fresh perspective on the South African bush. Sleeping under the stars in complete privacy while listening to the sounds of the bush is an unparalleled experience. A night in a tree house can be booked as an add on when staying at River, Ivory, Narina or Tinga Lodge. Choose between Chalkley Treehouse (Lion Sands), Kingston Treehouse (Sabi Sands) and Tinyeleti Treehouse (Lion Sands).

Kagga Kamma Star and Sky Suite

The glittering Milky Way is your ceiling… The Sky and Star Open Air Suites have their very own private locations at opposite ends of the reserve and a few kilometres from the Main Lodge, between the most astonishing rock formations that overlook the fynbos plains. The Suites offer guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the wonders and sounds of the wilderness. The Sky Suite offers open air shower, wood fired hot tub, rock solid furnuture, a boma braai and a view from the top. The Star Suite offers an outdoor shower, wooden furniture, boma braai, a view from the top, a natural rock pool and a star bath.

Bellevue Forest Reserve – Stargazer Camp

Shielded by the enveloping forest deep in the game reserve, spend a night or two under the open sky in a cocoon of luxuriously soft bedding. Walls and roofs are replaced by trees strung with twinkling lights and the only barrier between you and nature is the gauzy film of draped netting – but mosquitoes won’t be bothering you here. The whisper of the trees will hush you to sleep, the magical illumination of a billion stars offer a skylight view like no other. Count shooting stars as they cross the mighty Milky Way arching above. A more romantic setting would be hard to come by and the sheer adventure of the experience is unbeatable.

Jacks Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari, Botswana

They don’t advertise it becaust its only available to guests who are staying three or more nights and is included in the stay as a surprise and delight. Its described as sleeping in a bedroom ‘the size of Switzerland’! This is a dry season (winter) experience taking in the magnificent ancient pans and breathtaking landscapes. Expect sensational night time skies, dramatic boulders and ancient baobab trees.

Leroo La Tau Sleep Out

Sleep out under a blanket of stars across the endless Botswana sky on one of the world’s largest salt flats – the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a place so remote both sound and light pollution are non-existent and an experience described by many as life-changing. With nothing more than a cosy bed between you and the vastness around you, the sleep out takes place on a remote salt pan in the southern area of the Makgadikgadi Pans. This is a safe and fully guided excursion with your Leroo La Tau team on hand to help setup camp, prepare meals and ensure on departure your remote sleeping place is as untouched as you found it. Available to guests staying three or more nights, is weather dependent and best experienced between June and October.

For more information on these or any other experiences, contact us:

Email: info@thompsonsafrica.co.za

Tel: +27 31 275 3500


In the Spotlight… Nogatsaa Pans Lodge


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There is nothing quite like sitting quietly watching as the animals of Africa come down to a waterhole to drink.  So what better position for a safari lodge than to overlook an active waterhole?  There is always something to look at, from the resident hippo’s to the elephants and if you’re really lucky, the predators will put on a show for you.




The nights at Nogatsaa are not to be outdone by the spectacular game activities of the day, boasting the ‘chills down the spine’ night sounds of the African Bush and unforgettable stargazing with the Botswana night sky becoming a cosmic show.


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Nogatsaa Pans Lodge has it all to ensure you leave Botswana with a true ‘in-the-bush’ African experience.  Designed with minimal impact on the environment and great care taken to leave a small carbon footprint, Nogatsaa Pans’ service excellence, synonymous with Ghoha Hills Lodge, is extended in the hospitality offered at Nogatsaa Pans Lodge – with total commitment to comfort and wellbeing.


The fascinating safaris and experiences of Ghoha Hills and Nogatsaa Pans awakens all your senses and is irresistible to those who appreciate excellent service, great hosting, fine fare, romance and adventure.




Nogatsaa Pans staff recently underwent leadership and teamwork training, ensuring guests will experience the highest quality service excellence at every touch point.


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View this first time feature in the Thompsons Africa brochure http://console.virtualpaper.com/thompsons-africa/southern-africa-2019/#40/

Contact a Thompsons Africa consultant on info@thompsonsafrica.co.za for more information and to make a booking.