Our Bespoke Tents….

                             …. form the very heart of Camp Kerala. As an encampment, they form a space of pure peace and tranquillity. Wherever we go with them, they create the sense of community, family, and joy that we are so justly famed for producing.

Our brilliant Camp Kerala founder, Jen, found these magnificent and impossibly comfy creations far away from home. And she tells the story best:

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I was travelling through Kenya…

        …in August of 1980 when I was lucky enough to stay in the Masai Mara, the wondrous national game reserve in Narok, Kenya.

On the endlessly golden plains stood a constellation of extraordinarily beautiful tents. Once inside, I felt impossibly serene and peaceful. My tent was sturdy, yet elegant. Spacious, yet cosy. It was perfect. Upon waking in the morning, I believed that I had woken up in my own little heaven.

As I lay there, I toyed with the idea of getting one of these tents for myself, to go out adventuring and camping in, or simply to set up at home. I endeavoured to track them down, and bring these marvellous things to England. These tents were too special, too romantic, too spacious, and too delightful not to be chased.

I asked the guys who ran the camp on the Masai Mara plains where they had had their tents made. I was assuming they would say Nairobi or possibly Cape Town. But no, it was an ocean away, in Rajasthan. I had always felt an affinity to India, so this felt just right. I stored this information for years, always promising myself that I would go and get one of these special tents.

In 2003, when the idea for Camp Kerala came to me, I remembered the wonderful origin story of these special tents, the feeling of waking up in my own little heaven and that they would be simply perfect for what I was envisioning at Glastonbury: the very first “glamping” set up at a festival.

So, off I went to Jodhpur…

        …to seek out the tents I had fallen in love with all those years before. I arrived in the massive heat of an afternoon in the February dry season, to be met by the sight of a Shikar tent (shortly to be mine!) being constructed on the rolling lawns beneath the magisterial Red Fort, or Mehrangarh, meaning ‘fort of the sun’.

While I was there, I lost my heart to Jodhpur. It is known as the ‘blue city’ for its stunning blue-painted buildings, each of which catch the sun and glow blue. I was moved so deeply seeing the city sink into this oceanic blue mirage at sunset. The place is filled with extraordinary people, and is unmatched in its bejewelled history.

During my time there, I struck up a friendship with the producer of the Shikar tents. He has been my supplier ever since, and a deep friendship has developed, lasting to this day, growing stronger with every passing year. 


These spectacular Shikar tents — which I now saw again, so long after Africa, pitched again on such beautiful land, moving gently in the wind yet sturdy as anything — had been used by Maharajas during battle campaigns and hunting trips through the centuries. We have altered the design of the tents over the years to make them compatible with the vagaries of the English weather. However, the essence has remained exactly the same: you wake up in your own little heaven.

I am so proud of our Shikar Tents…

               …they are beautiful structures, and look so magnificent when pitched together. Each time I see them constructed my heart soars. For the story of these tents to be connected to a place as stunning as Jodhpur and the Masai Mara brings me great joy, too. No other tent can be compared. A fantastic consequence emanating from the longevity and loyalty of the relationship we have with our wonderful supplier is that over thirty families in and around the village where our tents are made are sustained by our orders.

The design we finally created, with our mesmeric signature blue linings scattered with glittering gold stars, which all of our guests wake up to, is the heartbeat of Camp Kerala.

These are the famed tents you will be staying in when you book with us for one of our spectacular events.

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