More and more starbeds are being built at camps across Zambia as owners and operators respond to the enthusiastic feedback of guests who love sleeping under the Milky Way on a warm evening. Previously reserved for premium camps or honeymoon suites, some lodges are going so far as to give every tent its own starbed – no more having to book in advance, drive out for the night or have a minimum stay.

Here are some options for the 2024 season… (PS Fly-camping and sleepouts are a different kettle of tiger fish as they are generally a lot more basic, involve walking to your destination and aren’t on raised platforms, meaning your guides and rangers have to sleep in camp with you – not the best for amorous honeymooners! Starbeds are generally much more private and often have fully plumbed bathrooms).


Star Drift at Chiawa Camp in Lower Zambezi

A hot bath and a cold bottle of bubbly await you when you arrive at the Star Drift at Chiawa, which overlooks the Zambezi River. The clawfoot bathtub is right on the deck for romantic evenings.


Three Rivers Camp in South Luangwa

Every suite has its own starbed that is reached via a raised platform connected to the main tent – perfect for if you want to bounce between the two (or your partner is snoring louder than howling hyena – just move beds!).


Numbu platform sleepout at Mwamba Camp in South Luangwa

Fifteen minutes’ drive from Mwamba Camp takes you to the Numbu starbed where only a mozzie night falls between you, the moonlight and the night sounds of the unbelievable Numbu Plains.


Deluxe Combination Suite at Chikunto Safari Lodge in South Luangwa

Two tents for the price of one: two beds, two bathrooms and the option of having sundowners and dinner on your private raised starbed at Chikunto’s exclusive combination suite.


Elephant Hide at Kaingo Camp in South Luangwa

Built in an ebony tree, the Elephant Hide sleepout overlooks the Luangwa River for all the hippo and elephant sightings you’ll ever need.

PHOTO CREDITS Chiawa Collection, Shenton Safaris, Kafunta Safaris and Chikunto Safaris