Mobile camping experiences, with easily movable tents and gear, are popping up in some of the most remote corners of the world, allowing travelers to explore unspoiled landscapes while leaving a light footprint.
Around the world
“Authentic connection with the natural world is hard to find when staying in traditional accommodations,” said Tom Marchant, a founder of the luxury travel outfitter Black Tomato. Its new mobile camping service, Blink, lets guests customize experiences, from choosing locations to designing tents. Camps can be set up anywhere in the world — glaciers, deserts, jungles, coastlines — and come with a butler, chef, local guide, driver and masseuse.
(All-inclusive rates start at approximately $10,000 per person excluding airfare.)
Roving Bushtops’ compact camping trucks unpack into six 1,000-square-foot luxury safari tents in the central Serengeti. The area is abundant year-round with zebras, wildcats, giraffes and elephants. When taking a break from daily game drives, guests can linger on private decks, enjoy unlimited complimentary massages or take balloon rides.
All-inclusive rates start at $990 per person per night.
Uyuni Salt Lake, Bolivia
The landscape of Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Lake is so surreal that “Star Wars” is featuring it as a fictional planet in its coming film. Travelers can experience its otherworldly appeal with Crillon Tours’ camping expeditions in fully loaded Airstream campers. A driver, guide and chef accompany guests as they explore the salt flats’ giant cactuses and flamingos and surrounding Andean villages.
One- to three-night packages start at $2,499 per person.
Tarutao National Park, Thailand
In Southeast Asia, Smiling Albino offers a mobile camping excursion in Tarutao National Park. Guests arrive by power boat to the island of Ko Ra Wi, where a tent with a king bed, dressers, reading chairs, fans, a kitchen and Western-style bathrooms awaits. A camp manager organizes water activities, hiking and sailing around the archipelago. Fishermen provide a daily catch, which a chef prepares for sunset dinners overlooking the Andaman Sea.
All-inclusive rates start at $42,000 per couple for three-night stays.
Equestrians can explore the Okavango Delta with the travel outfitter Timbuktu’s weeklong horse safaris led by guides from Ride Botswana. The camp is transported by mokoros (traditional dugout canoes), while guests spend their days on horseback cantering elephant trails and spotting buffalo, giraffes and antelopes. Meals are prepared over log fires and travelers sleep in spacious lightweight tents featuring stretcher beds, bucket showers and bathrooms.
Rates start at $3,550 per person.
Antigua and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Maya Trails recently introduced a four-day trek from the colonial town of Antigua to Lake Atitlan. The nearly 27-mile hike traces sky-high ridgelines surrounded by volcanoes and winds through highlands, rivers, fruit plantations and coffee farms. Nightly fireside camping includes chef-prepared meals, high-tech tents and hot Guatemalan coffee served each morning.
All-inclusive rates start at $249 per person daily, based on two people.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
On Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hut-to-hut hiking has typically been the most comfortable way to climb Africa’s highest peak. Now travelers can navigate the Lemosho Route’s rain forest and arctic terrain with REI Adventures’ Signature Camping experience. Each evening, REI staffers set up large mobile tents with cushy cots for guests and warm dinners are served in a stand-up dining tent.
The 11-day package starts at $5,999 and includes meals, guides, camping and hotel stays.
Central Highlands, India
Rothschild Safaris’ new 11-day “India Under Canvas” adventure tracks tigers and other wildlife through India’s Central Highlands, and includes a two-day camping experience at Satpura National Park, home to native bison, antelope, leopards and wild dogs. At Jamtara Wilderness Camp in Pench National Park, guests can sleep under the stars in a traditional machaan, an open-air platform bed built on high stilts.
Rates start at $4,910 per person (based on two people) including domestic connecting flights.