Luxury Tented Camp – Luxury in the wild made simple

By Trish Lee / 

Posted on June 13, 2022

3D Model of interior of Drifter 42

For years, the luxury tented camp experience has remained the exclusive hallmark of 5-star safari lodges in Africa. But that’s changing. Long before the pandemic accelerated the demand for isolated getaways, the popularity of online platforms like Airbnb has demonstrated a high demand for alternatives to hotel and resort stays.

These platforms have given homeowners around the world the opportunity to open their homes to travelers and ‘make good’ on their properties, so it’s hardly surprising that private landowners and concession holders are keen to get in on the action too. Offering a luxury tented getaway experience, sited in a pristine natural environment, presents a very attractive return prospect for investors.

But, there’s a considerable barrier to this market: Building luxury eco-accommodation in a wilderness area requires a substantial capital outlay. Consideration of sensitive environments and other bugbears such as service point installations and acquiring planning and building permissions, add to the challenge of monetizing a wilderness area on your poperty.

If only there was a simple and affordable way to turn the natural assets on your doorstep into an income-generating getaway…

Enter the Freeform® Luxury Stretch House

When Freeform® founder, Stuart Lee, started thinking about developing a product that would serve the expanding eco-getaway and luxury  tent and tented camp market, he wanted to focus on offering an eco-sensitive, off-the-shelf solution that was as flexible as the Freeform® stretch tent.

“Covering outdoor spaces quickly and beautifully has always been our game. We wanted to offer the same degree of flexibility with our Luxury Stretch House.”

Built beneath a Freeform® stretch tent, these solid, timber-frame eco-cabins offer investors a flexible luxury accommodation solution specifically designed for eco-sensitive environments: Units are quick to install, easy to maintain or expand, and offer years of use. When no longer required, the Freeform® Stretch House is easily removed, leaving no trace behind.

Like the Freeform® stretch tent, these eco structures, or tented camping units, are designed on a modular principle. Each timber-frame unit is assembled from a set of equal-sized components, offering the ability to scale the size and change the configuration of the unit as and when the need arises. This means you can add any extension such as a bathroom, kitchen, additional bedroom, or deck area, or repair or replace any component with minimal fuss and next to no shutdown time. Components simply plug in and out.

Think of it as Lego® for tents.

With a beautiful custom-designed Freeform® stretch tent spanning the entire unit including the decked areas, the simple timber-frame structure takes on a grander proportion, offering a luxury safari tent feel that blends seamlessly in any landscape.

These solid timber-frame eco structures offer many further advantages too: Despite the solid, timber-frame construction, they are considered temporary structures. In most cases, planning permissions will not be required – eliminating this cost. Inevitable planning and construction delays are entirely avoided. The unit’s modular components are packed onto a customized pallet for easy transport to and from the site, and actual assembly usually takes a small crew with minimal training, just one or two days. Compare that with the costs and time frames associated with building a traditional brick-and-mortar structure. You can’t.

When compared with canvas-only tented camp options, a Freeform® Stretch House offers a better investment and accommodation experience all around: All sides walls and the stretch tent ceiling roof are tensioned to prevent irritating flapping when the wind blows – a common issue with canvas tents. The overarching stretch tent delivers much more than aesthetic appeal. This larger tent creates a double ceiling, allowing for good airflow and keeping the unit below it nice and cool. It creates large covered eaves, providing deep weather protection on the deck. Ultimately, it serves to protect the entire structure from the elements – preserving the longevity of the core timber structure and ensuring it delivers many years of service.

Available wall type options like soft fabric zip-up walls, glass sliding doors, or solid hard timber walls with corrugated cladding, allow clients to choose a wall type best suited to the environment and/or accommodation style they are planning to offer. When it comes time to replace or repair a wall component, it’s worth noting that each component simply pops out to be replaced by the new one, with no compromise to the existing structure. This means zero downtime when it comes to repairs and/or renovations.

Looking out from a Drifter 42 Luxury Tent House. Image credit © WOW Camps

But perhaps the most significant feature of these luxury tented camp units is the fact that each Freeform® Stretch House unit is erected on top of self-levelling feet made from galvanized steel. These provide a 400mm play to adjust to the lay of the land, enabling assembly on most terrains without the need for foundations or for levelling the ground.

Units can be assembled and then removed or relocated leaving no trace behind. Zero impact. Maximum appeal.

“That’s exactly what we wanted to achieve. Zero impact but maximum appeal. I’m really proud of this product and can’t wait to share it with investors looking to offer eco-tourists a luxury tented camp experience in the wild.”

For a simple discussion around the options available, please contact us on +27 (0)21 709 0034 or send an enquiry


Share this post to social media: