What to expect from a Safari tent

What to expect from a Safari tent

We’re just back from a sunshine-filled glamping weekend on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of the UK. Park Resorts invited us to try out one of the new Safari tents at their Nodes Point campsite, on the north of the island near Ryde, just a short stroll away from St Helen’s Beach and Priory Bay.

Safari tents are increasingly popular, with a lot of different kinds springing up on campsites across Europe. My full review of Nodes Point is here, but I felt the tent itself warranted a separate post.

Space

safari tent

Most tents these days are spacious, but our Safari tent was big enough to house a double bedroom and a twin, both with dinky bedside cabinets (complete with fully functional lamps, to save groping around for torches in the middle of the night).

safari tentThe bedrooms were separated by a canvas wall, which could have been rolled up if we all wanted to sleep in the same ‘room’. Our children don’t get to share a bedroom at home, so for them it was an adventure to be together – and we were sleeping just a few inches away, to make sure they didn’t monkey around too much.

safari tentAs well as the bedrooms, there was a kitchen unit stocked with all the essentials: utensils, a fridge, hob, toaster and microwave.

safari tentThere was space inside the tent for a sofa bed and cabinet unit.

safari tentThe Nodes Point tents sleep six, with two people on the sofa – if it had been full, we may have felt a bit squished (and midnight dashes to the toilet block would have been trickier if the sofa bed had been extended). But, for the four of us, the size was more than enough.

safari tent

Cosy comfort

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Our tent had a wooden frame, which – combined with the old-school smell of the canvas – gave it a real outdoorsy feel. Stepping inside was a little like being transported back in time to a different era; these tents are modelled on ones that would have been found on the African plains, and they are very different from the traditional canvas tents I used to sleep in with the Girl Guides. The high ceilings and memory foam matteresses meant that sleeping in our Nodes Point tent was a much more glamorous experience. On the second night, I couldn’t wait to climb into our deliciously comfortable bed (I suspect the sea air also had something to do with it).

safari tent

The windows had three layers – a canvas flap to roll down at night, a mosquito net (which allowed breezes to flow through the tent) and a plastic sheet, which could be rolled up or down, and which let the sunshine stream in but stopped the heat escaping. We camped during a heatwave, but the evenings were still cool, so it was good to retreat to a space that was warmer than outdoors (and we were glad of the shelter when we woke up to drizzle on the final day).

safari tent

The kitchen was illuminated by downlighters, which meant we could see better than if we’d been struggling to cook outdoors with a primus stove and a couple of torches.

The best feature of the Safari tent was the outdoor decking area, where we ate our breakfast and dinner each day. Having our own kitchen, and this private dining space, meant that cooking and eating weren’t a chore, as they can be on camping trips. And (once the kiddies had finally gone to sleep), it gave D and me a place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, while the sun went down.

safari tent

Detail

safari tent

Park Resorts had furnished their Safari tents with some nice little features, which made the accommodation feel more sophisticated than standard campsite fodder.

safari tentWe did like these cute seaside-themed cushions (the matching hat is my daughter’s).

safari tentSo, from us: a big thumbs-up for glamping in a Safari tent.

However, when considering whether to opt for a Safari tent holiday, you might want to ask the following questions.

  • Some Safari tents have toilet facilities, but most don’t. If not, where is the toilet and shower block in relation to your tent? Would you prefer to be close, or further away from the loos? And are they likely to be clean enough to match your glamorous Safari tent experience?
Safari tent

Our Nodes Point Safari tent was near, but not right next to, the shower block.

  • Is your Safari tent secluded, or set in a cluster of other tents? Which would you prefer?
  • The verandah is a bonus feature, but it could be chilly if it’s in the shade. Does yours get the sunshine, and at what time of day? Would you prefer a sunny breakfast, or evening meal?
  • Remember: despite the glamour, it’s still a tent. Ours didn’t have heating, which was fine as it was such a hot weekend, but on a British Safari tent glamping holiday, you’re always up against the unreliability of the UK weather.

Disclosure: we were invited to spend a long weekend in a new Nodes Point Safari tent for the purpose of this review. All views are my own.

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7 Comments

  1. July 15, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    We stayed in a safari tent in France last year which was luxury for us but doesn’t look luxurious at all when compared to yours. I think the one thing for everyone to keep in mind is that they’re still tents so you can still hear others snoring!!

    • July 16, 2015 / 10:13 am

      Ha ha yes. I was woken up on the first night by children in the next tent, chatting at 2am. I thought it was ours at first – I was quite relieved when I realised I wouldn’t have to get up and put them back to bed AGAIN.

  2. July 15, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    I think this looks brilliant, the perfect mix of camping v creature comforts. Great review.

    • July 16, 2015 / 10:11 am

      Thank you!

  3. July 19, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    love the way the place has been decorated, but still wouldn’t want to spend all that money on glamping when i still have to walk to the toilet block in the night

    • July 20, 2015 / 5:41 pm

      Well glamping certainly isn’t for everyone! These Safari tents are very reasonably priced though, compared with some others.

  4. JAddi
    March 23, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Nice post especially that in next month i will be going to africa and hopefully i willl be attending on safari the we will see about your and mine requirements and realy situation. Nevertheless thanks for post

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