Glamping is redefining how South Africans enjoy nature.


My first exposure to glamping was on Instagram, inadvertently so. A friend, a travel enthusiast on a very fine photo referred to glamping. Being a spelling enthusiast I genuinely believed my friend had misspelled gambling. This was not my biggest worry though. It was particularly unsettling that such a respected friend, a role model to many was openly speaking about ‘gambling’ and how ‘amazing’ it was. How can adventure and gambling exist in one sentence, I pondered.

A quick search engine search saved me from my phantom fears and myself. In fact, glamping existed as a word. It even existed as a travel trend that was on an upward trajectory. I got a quick 101 tutorial on glamping. Despite that, my phone on predictive text mode, still ‘insists’ on altering my glamping posts to gambling. I guess this is testimony to the nascent stage that glamping is as a travel phenomenon.

In simple terms, glamping is glamorous camping. At its worst, glamping is better than camping and at its best; glamping is miles ahead of classy conventional travel accommodation facilities. It is a full experience of travel, adventure and comfort.

The second time I encountered glamping was one that would change the course of my life, literally. Gugu Sithole, an entrepreneur, event management extraordinaire shared with me a spark she had to introduce glamping in South Africa in a unique way. A disclaimer; glamping had been in South Africa for several years but what attracted me to Gugu’s proposal was that it was a confluence of both glamping and mobility.

The idea to have a pop up glamping service that would organize glamping adventures around South Africa and neighboring countries was genius. The huge advantage here is that any travel enthusiast can literally follow all the glamping trips enjoying both glamorous travelling and exploring new places in the country. It was an audacious, genius idea that I didn’t mind being part of. Glamping Adventures was born.

In this journey, we had to learn the intricacies of a travel business fast. It afforded us an opportunity to travel to as many places in the country and beyond scouting for the best destinations we could take travellers with. We cannot take glampers as we call our guests, to a place we have not been to, we believed. This offered us great experience, both fulfilling our traveling goals and an acquired appreciation of travelling to different parts of the country and the varying nuances they carry.

South Africa is a country best defined by its topography. It’s a country as diverse as its people. From waving rolling coastlines that have history as long as humankind to rolling mountain ranges that are archaeological laboratories and dry, beautifully empty deserts that have been subject to knowledge seekers; the country is a dream to travelers. The majestic mountain kingdoms of eSwatini and Lesotho surround South Africa. These are countries small enough to drive across in a day but rich with nature that can take one months to explore.

On the other side of the border is Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony. This is a coastal haven with marine life as diverse as its wildlife in the north. Zimbabwe, famed for the mighty Victoria Falls is another landlocked neighbor of South Africa. Namibia and Botswana are arguably some of the best attractions to wildlife documentary makers. Botswana, in particular is famed for the expansive arid conditions that ironically pack wildlife in the Okavango Delta. Namibia is a unique country where an ocean and desert meet, giving credence to studies that even deserts were former oceans.

This abridged summary of Southern Africa is evidence to why the region is on the increase in travel and tourism. Figures have shown a consistent rise in local and international travel.

This buffet of attractions to visit and explore is what makes glamping the best go to travel trend. One can look into permanent glamping structures when visiting various parts of the country. However, options such as Glamping Adventures offer an opportunity to join on established, organized trips. It is affordable. With $200, one gets a weekend getaway package, all meals and adventure activities covered. The affordability is its major advantage. Knowledge is one key merit. Travelling to a new place requires expert guide knowledge. Each place has nuances that can either make or break travel experiences. These organized group travels also offer solo travelers to meet new people and establish new networks.

Glamping Adventures also offers package to organized groups to any destination of their choice. They set up camp in places that travellers want to explore. This is one factor that permanent structure cannot do because of their rootedness.

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