A taste of luxury under canvas is an incredible way to holiday. Happy glamping!
Words: Marianne Heron
Pictures: David Morgan
There’s a wonderful scene in the film Out of Africa where Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) and Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford) are having a romantic dinner in a bush camp. There is wine in crystal glasses on a table, a gramophone plays and a tent has been erected by unseen hands. That’s the kind of stylish camping that – given my previous experiences under canvas – I crave.
I did own a tent once and the first time I tried to erect it I only managed to get it halfway up in the pouring rain and we crawled out in the morning bent double like troglodytes. We were beside a wonderful beach but the trouble with trying to wash in the sea was that the soap wouldn’t lather.
These days I want to be blissed out, sleeping in nature with all the comforts of a hotel – a tent ready with real bed and crisp linen and the promise of my own hot shower in the morning. I don’t want to worry about being eaten by lions, I would like a switch-on light so I can check for marauding spiders and, oh yes, definitely on my wish list, no ruination of my paradise by an Eskom outage.
Comfortable camping sounds like an oxymoron but it actually does exist. It’s called glamping (glamorous camping, or glorious camping if you prefer). Posh camping has been around in Africa for a long time; for instance when journalist Henry Stanley went to search for explorer David Livingstone in 1871 he did so with a retinue of more than 200 bearers. Later, big-game hunters went on safari in a style limited to the privileged few.
Read the full feature on glamping in the June 2015 edition…