Tourism offerings have evolved over the years to accommodate a wider range of preferences – think adventure tourism, eco-tourism or slack-packing. The same can be said for the hospitality space. Some prefer the comfort that resorts and hotels offer, some must have a self-catering option, while others prefer to go camping with only the bare necessities.
Now there is an alternative that combines the elements of all three: glamping. You can stay over in a glamorous tent that will give you the escapism of the outdoors but also the luxuries that will convert even the most stalwart anti-campers. Think comfortable two-bedroom luxury tents, a fully-fitted kitchen, and stunning bathroom facilities.
Claire Kaplan, the Marketing Manager of AfriCamps Boutique Glamping, the leading glamping company in South Africa, shares her thoughts on why you should seriously consider glamping for your next trip.
Companies that offer glamping experiences have thought about all the creature comforts guests will need. It’s a far cry from an inch of foam and a groundsheet being the only barrier between you and the hard ground as you rustle around in your sleeping bag. There are proper orthopaedic beds, large showers, electric blankets and even fireplaces and aircon. Glamping also means there are electrical outlets, which are perfect for keeping your cellphone charged to snap some pics of your stay.
We all know the benefits of spending more time outdoors. AfriCamps has placed each camp within easy reach of outdoor adventure activities like hiking, cycling, canoeing, swimming and fishing. There are, however, more pedestrian pursuits as well – sitting on your deck listening to the sounds of nature or star-gazing while you soak in your private outdoor wood-fired hot-tub.
Glamping is really gaining traction, which brings with it increased accessibility. AfriCamps is now opening their eleventh camp across four provinces so chances are there is one near you. Take a road trip and create your own meander, staying at various camps along the way. You will get the same luxury amenities but each location is unique in the experience you’ll have there.
We’ve all had that camping experience where we don’t actually end up leaving the campsite because it’s too cold or we got a bad night’s sleep, and we just end up huddled around the fire. Glamping is different. It’s more like stepping out of a spa each day, so you’ll be ready to take on the local tourism offerings. AfriCamps has incorporated this into their glamping offering. For example, they offer authentic ostrich tours in Oudtshoorn, micro flights for whale-watching in Hermanus, and safari vehicle tours into the Kruger National Park at the camps in the Greater Kruger (Hoedspruit and Hazyview).
Glamping with your family doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s actually considerably cheaper than staying in a fancy hotel room, but you still get the benefits of the amenities. You’ll also be supporting local farmers and their small businesses because it’s often the case, like with AfriCamps, that they partner with these farmers and assist in bringing additional income in on their beautiful properties. . So you can rest easy knowing that your money is directly supporting the local community.
So for your next holiday when you’re trying to satisfy those who want to camp, those who want luxury, and those who want to cook their own meals, consider glamping as the ideal middle ground. It’s fun for everyone!