The Best Places to Pitch a Tent Worldwide
Published 30 March 2016
Nothing quite beats the feeling of freedom that comes with bedding down wherever you like, hitting that open road and pitching a tent in the most picturesque spot you can find. And while you can do it pretty much anywhere (government/country rules permitting of course), there are some locations that really take the camping crown. Here are just a few:
Tarutao National Park, Thailand
Miles of sandy beach, not a soul in sight… Just you, your tent and some of the most vibrant coral reefs in Southeast Asia. Wild camping doesn’t get much better than this. Emerge from your pop-up home and you’ll face one of the toughest decisions imaginable: do you spend your day lazing on the sand, keeping an eye out for wild pigs, Brahminy kites and mouse deer? Or do your deploy your snorkel, grab your flippers and step into a blue, underwater safari?
Zion National Park, Utah, USA
Zion has natural wonder in heaps. Lucky then, that camping and Zion go together like ham and cheese. There are several campsites nearby, such as the Lava Point Campground, as well as some in the park itself – try the South and Watchman Campgrounds, both near the south entrance. Whichever you choose (or rather, whichever one can fit you in!), you’ll be guaranteed two things: scorching heat and incredible watercolour-worthy landscapes.
Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Few landmarks are as remote and as dramatic as Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. This massive monolith is renowned for its rainbow façade, it changes colour depending on the time of day or year. And there are few better ways to see the monolith than by camping in its vast shadow. Road trippers will enjoy Ayers Rock Campround – just nine miles from the landmark – while those looking for a longer, more luxurious stay should opt for Longitude 131, a wilderness ‘glamping’ expert with lodges that command uninterrupted views across this UNESCO-listed region.
Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa
Kenya was built for outdoor adventures: from thrilling game drives to close encounters on walking safaris. Even better, tented camps are everywhere. So you can spend your days seeking the Big Five, your evenings enjoying refreshing sundowners and your nights in a luxury tent in the heart of the bush.
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Canada
This one is a bit of a travel secret – so remember to keep it quiet! It’s not one for the faint hearted either. For one, the weather is unpredictable here. Even in June you can expect four seasons in one day, think snow flurries one moment and beaming sunshine the next. Then there’s the lake itself. In order to reach Coronet Creek Campground, Maligne’s designated camping area, you’ll need to complete a 13-mile canoe or kayak journey first. It’s completely worth it though, this campsite is really off the beaten track, a real hidden wilderness, one that’s flanked by mountains, free of tourists and bursting with adventure.
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Lauded as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’, it’s no wonder Corcovado is the perfect place to get in touch with nature. Monkeys, jaguars, ocelots and tapirs are just the tip of the iceberg. Outdoorsy types can camp at the Sirena Ranger Station, the gateway to this wildlife-rich gem.
Most don’t think of camping in the Middle East, but not to camp in Oman is the real travesty. The diverse topography is ripe for pitching a tent and soaring across dusty roads in a 4x4. Set up camp in iconic The Empty Quarter, in Badiya Sands, on a secluded beach or even atop a lofty peak – we particularly love Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain).