I first heard of glamping about 2 years ago. Think of glamping as the upscale way of camping or for those people who just aren’t into camping the old fashioned way. Growing up, we camped often. Nothing fancy. Slept in tents with our sleeping bags on air mattresses on the ground.
Curious about what has become quite popular, I did a little digging to figure out how glamping actually got started. Turns out that the word glamping first appeared in the United Kingdom in 2005. The word itself might have been new but the concept of glamping While the word itself was new at the time, the concept of what glamping is, that of luxurious tent-living, is not. In the sixteenth century, the Scottish Duke of Atholl prepared a marvelous glamping experience in the Highlands for the visiting King James V and his mother. Here, the Duke raised lavish tents and filled them with all the provisions of his own home palace. You can read about it here.
At around this same time, the Ottomans had over the top, ostentatious, tents that looked like palaces transported from one military mission to the next. Entire teams of artisans traveled with the army to erect and maintain these imperial tents. Professor Nurhan Atasoy described it in this way, “The exquisite ornamentation both inside and out of the tents used by the Ottoman sultans made them imposing dwellings fit for a ruler. On ceremonial occasions tents served to create a splendid theatrical setting, as we see vividly portrayed in miniature paintings depicting banquets, audiences and celebrations which took place in the imperial tent complex over the centuries. The imperial tents were richly decorated as if they were pavilions, and often had designs resembling tiled panels, usually in floral patterns, either in appliés work using cloth of different colours, or embroidered in various stitches using silk and metal thread.”
By the 1920s, African safari became the thing to do among wealthy Americans and Brits. Wealthy travelers in search of adventure, evidently were not willing to sacrifice comfort or luxury. Unlike my camping days as a kid, now you would find glampers toting folding bates, electric generators, to folding baths, cases of champagne and more. No expenses was too great to ensure a luxurious retreat.
Glampsites range in price from as little as $50 per night to thousands of dollars per night, depending on amenities, which can include fresh bed linens, en suite washrooms, food service, and private verandas.
Interested in learning more? Want to book your own glamping getaway? Check out a few of these sites: