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The luxuries of the desert

We’re dreaming of faraway places.

On the hunt for boundless nature after months spent cooped-up at home, luxury desert camping holidays have quickly become one of the latest travel trends. As the word gets out, luxurious desert experiences are rising to the top of everyone’s bucket-lists as people search for wild landscapes and authenticity in abundance. Whisking you far from home, but with all of life’s comforts and more, the spectacular landscapes promise a peace and tranquillity that only a desert could. These faraway places vow to take you away to an otherworldly landscape, without compromising on luxury. Picture days exploring the striking desertscape, evenings around the campfire with a glass of wine in hand and cool nights in gently billowing luxurious tents under the shooting stars.

Deserts often conjure up images of stark, uninhabitable landscapes; places you might visit on an exciting day trip and journey back to the lavish comforts of your hotel at night – although perhaps they shouldn’t. Fortunately for us, these preconceived images allow for some of the most truly extraordinary and one-of-a-kind holidays – but only for the enlightened.

Each desert’s origin story inspires pure wonderment.

Teeming with untouched ancient history, the desert is one of very few environments that allow you to imagine what life might have been centuries ago. From the mysterious Tuareg people, first recorded in the fifth century BC who still roam the Saharan sands today, to the Banjaras nomads of the Thar Desert, life of thousands of year ago is maintained not only in landscape but often in culture. Millions of years old, each desert’s origin story inspires pure wonderment. Learn of the once-submerged-under-water, Sahara or the lunar terrain of Wadi Rum, where the sea once cut peculiar shapes into the sandstone.

Presently, the desert promises its guests with a myriad of wonderful natural sights with its distinctive flora and fauna, as well as a variety of thrilling activities. Find Arabian sand cats, Nubian ibex and golden jackel in Wadi Rum before enjoying a camel ride through the sands and gigantic rock faces. Venture to the nearby wadis and remote villages in Oman or camel trek through the Sahara in Erg Chegaga.

Venture to the nearby wadis and remote villages in Oman or camel trek through the Sahara in Erg Chegaga.
Image: Canvas Club, Oman

Even in the wildest of landscapes, you need not leave your home comforts behind.

Settle into your luxurious tent, complete with a large, cosy bed and plush furnishings. Step onto the sands, into your camp, for decadent meals, prepared by skilled chefs and bundle up by the campfire after a day of exploration and adventure. A haven for budding astronomers, spend tranquil nights gazing into the skies for a visual of the otherworldly desert nightscape from the comfort of your luxury camp. We have compiled a list of our favourite luxury tented camps where your magnificent desert experience goes hand in hand with the finest luxuries, with sustainability and conservation at the forefront.

Where to experience desert glamping

Arabian luxury in the mineral Desert of Afagay.

Less than an hour from Marrakech is the luxury Inara Camp, with breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains contrasting against the desert dunes in the mineral desert of Afagay. There are 10 luxury tents, each with a king size bed, living area and separate bathroom. The camp works with nearby farms to create seasonal menus for the restaurant and dinner is served in a circle surrounding the campfire. There is a nearby lake which gives you a chance to camp in the desert after a day of jet skiing or kayaking.

Sustainable luxury in Oman.

Hud Hud Travels provides bespoke mobile tents for families, groups and couples in Oman’s beautiful and untainted landscape. To reduce the environmental impact, the camps move every 10 days and solar power is used throughout the camp. From camping by the Arabian sea to the remote dunes, you can enjoy many contrasting locations in one trip. Activities such as sailing, kayaking and star gazing are arranged by the camp team. Enjoy the traditional cuisine of Oman with delicious mint tea, marinated Mendi lamb and warm pitta bread by the campfire.

Futuristic living in Wadi Rum.

Set in the heart of the protected desert wilderness of Jordan, Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp is the perfect place to enjoy an eco-friendly desert vacation. Desert excursions include camel rides, jeep adventures and sand boarding. You can choose to stay in the unusual bubble tents where you can stargaze through the night, or in the traditional Bedouin tents with golden embellishments and traditional furniture. You will taste traditional Jordanian delicacies cooked by the camp’s private chef, either in the dining tent or under the desert sky.

Glamour in Oman’s Wahiba Sands.

Experience the unparalleled beauty of Wahiba Sands as you camp in luxury at the Canvas Club. Comprising a selection of glamorous tents, Canvas Club brings a new meaning to glamping. Tents are opulent interpretations of authentic Bedouin tents, embellished with ornate Arabian rugs, woven furnishings and candle-lit lanterns. Throughout your stay, your private guide and driver will take you on tailored desert excursions or to the nearby wadis and remote villages. Upon returning to the camp, dine under the moonlight and relax in the Arabian majlis or by the open fire.

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