When last did you look up into the night sky and marvel at the twinkling lights above you? While they are, quite literally, light years away, we so often find beauty and perspective through our stargazing experiences. No matter what crisis we are living through on earth, the stars continue to take up their places in the clear, blue-black sky and let us forget our troubles, even if just for the few minutes we are gazing into them.

So, once it is safe to travel, why not leave the polluted, florescent-lighted cities and towns for the wide, open spaces of the bush, where nature’s unmistakable glory glows clearly both around and above you. These three stargazing experiences in Southern Africa set the tone for magic throughout your getaway to each of these luxury camps and lodges in the wilderness.

 

 

Dine under southern constellations 

On the banks of the Zambezi River, just a few kilometres upstream from the mighty Victoria Falls, sits Tongabezi, a luxury lodge for the discerning traveller on the lookout for extra-special moments. A highlight of a stay at Tongabezi, and an entire experience in and of itself, is every time you sit down to dine on delicious meals in gorgeous settings.

Dine while floating on the sampan in the middle of the Zambezi River © Tongabezi

If it is just you and your loved one, a private table is a must. Tongabezi’s signature private dining experience is the floating sampan dinner in the middle of a mirror-like Zambezi River, with the nocturnal sounds of the bush and, of course, the stars above keeping you company. Each course will come to you via a waiter on a canoe.

Enjoy riverfront views while dining outdoors on Sindabezi Island © Tongabezi

Guests can also choose to dine in the company of others from a variety of shared dining spaces with views of the garden and riverfront areas.

 

 

Soak under soft starlight

Out in South Africa’s remote northern bushveld are Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga, which are situated in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, near to Kruger National Park. Their ‘safari for the soul’ ethos is perhaps best epitomised by two exceptional open-air tub experiences, the star and bush baths.

Soak away your troubles in the star bath © Garonga

A sudsy soak beneath the stars is a great way to relax and unwind while in the bush. From a bath full of bubbles, gaze up to find masses of stars dancing across the clear African night sky and then, a little closer, look up into the galaxy of twinkling stars in the dome above the bath. Just take a moment for yourself to look back on your favourite moments of the day with a glass of wine or bubbly in hand.

Gaze into the dazzling night sky above from the comfort of the bush bath © Garonga

The bush bath is the original open-air bubble bath concept at Garonga and, like the star bath, overlooking the surrounding landscape, where wild residents include all members of the Big 5.

 

 

Sleep blanketed in stars

Mkulumadzi Lodge by Robin Pope Safaris is found in Majete Game Reserve, Malawi’s only Big 5 reserve and famous internationally for its wildlife conservation success. The star deck is stargazing at its best and an experience you likely won’t find elsewhere in Malawi.

Toast the day from the star deck as the sun sets over Majete Game Reserve © Robin Pope Safaris

The star deck is a wooden platform raised above the reserve’s vegetation and wildlife below, which means stunning panoramic views and a safe night’s sleep without any unwanted visitors. The setting sun will make way for twinkling galaxies, far from the bright lights of any cities; and when you turn in for the night, you will be ‘covered’ by nature’s most beautiful canopy.

Wake up to the sun rising above Majete Game Reserve © Robin Pope Safaris

Equally unique and unforgettable, the Mkulumadzi star deck is for sharing with that someone special in the midst of a truly wild and stunning natural paradise.

Cover Image: Floating sampan dinner on the Zambezi River © Tongabezi