Last week, I posted about Coachella’s ultra-fabulous glamping experience. Today, let’s take a look at some other swanky glamping experiences around the world. From authentic elephant excursions in Kenya to lavishly rustic accommodations in Vancouver (pictured above), these campsites are for travelers who want to get in touch with their wild side without having to forgo a five-course meal.
The Ecocamp in Patagonia, Chile was inspired by the dwellings of the all-but-extinct nomadic seafarers who devised domed huts to withstand 100-mile-per-hour winds. The 24 geodesic domes run entirely on hydro- and solar power, and provide some domestic comforts like bathrooms with flush toilets and running water.
Sure, the Elephant Watch Camp in Kenya has some disadvantages: no running water, no indoor plumbing and no guarantee you won’t have to chase a baboon out of your tent. But it’s all worth it for a chance to live among 45 elephant families that wander the reserve. Started by the wife of the zoologist who founded the NGO Save the Elephants, this camp has the lightest of footprints. Guests are escorted by a guard lest they disturb an elephant or big cat that might be eating or sleeping in the camp.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi near Dubai is made up of 133 white-topped, wood-platform tents spread across a lavish oasis. Want to play gentleman sheikh? Take a class to polish your archery or falconry skills, or enjoy one of the daily expert displays of handling raptors. Recover from desert excursions (horse or camel—your choice) with a day at the spa.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in Vancouver Island is hidden deep in the forest, while black bears tussle in the woods just outside. Inside each of the 24 tents, a log bed and cast-iron wood-burning stove make guests feel like fancy 19th-century pioneers. Explore further by trying horseback riding, deep-sea fishing, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining or archery — then indulge after your wild adventures with a five-course dinner and wine pairings.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef has just nine khaki tents erected right on the western Australian coast, ideally situated for nature and water sports lovers. Just yards offshore, snorkelers and divers revel in the reef, which teems with sea turtles, manta rays, sharks and migrating humpback whales. While fossil-rich Mandu Mandu Gorge is an easy 1.2-mile hike from camp. This camp’s small size and green protocols (solar power, composting toilets, easily dismantled pole-mounted dwellings) mean minimal impact to the rich environment, listed in June as a World Heritage area.