There are purpose built star beds when you sleep surrounded by luxury, and there are star beds where it really is just you, the great outdoors, and the stars. The latter is as simple as can be, with just a squashy roll mat and pillow laid out beneath a mosquito net, and they are a particularly speciality of Norman Carr Safaris, the pioneers of the walking safari in Zambia.
On a Norman Carr walking safari in Zambia, the whole point is getting back to nature. You will traverse the landscape under the power of your own two feet, following the rivers and streams, tree lines, and other natural contours of the land from camp to camp. Over the course of several days you will experience the incredible solitude and quiet of the remotest parts of the Zambian bush, fully appreciating the beauty of this wilderness. Travelling in this way, you feel very much attuned to the Earth, part of a greater ecosystem in which you are but one small part in millions.
During the walking expedition, porters will carry your bags and all the camping gear so that you and your guide can comfortably go at your own pace, wherever the animals tracks and other signs might lead you. There will be a new spot to make camp each day - often in a dry riverbed - and if it is not already set up when you arrive, you can always sit back and enjoy a cup of tea (or something stronger) whilst your team assembles things on your behalf. It is really not too strenuous for them: with no tents, there is very little to erect!
The Norman Carr star bed really is as close as it is possible for you to get to the style of safari experiences by the very first travellers to explore Africa. You will help the rangers make a campfire and cook your dinner on it, then sit around the glowing embers listening to stories and perhaps sharing a few songs. Tired from the exertion of the day, you will then slip beneath your mosquito net, lying on your mat just enough inches above the ground to be comfortable. Fall asleep watching the twinkling of the stars.