Product Spotlight: We chat to the creators of the Hay Safari Tent

We have received mixed feedback on the Hay Safari Tent since publishing the article earlier this week and there’s been some uncertainty over its structure.

So before you read the Q&A with creators Timm Hay and Mark Pryor, here’s further information on the tent’s features and the way it is constructed.

  • The safari tent is a solid structure with a steel frame, roof and solid walls – making it robust to all weather conditions
  • The tent fabric covers that covers the solid frame is waterproof, water tight, and not collapsible – it is similar to that of a side of an articulated lorry and has a 25 year guarantee
  • It has the luxury of a lodge inside, with the planning definition of a tent
  • The insulation is as good as a home, so it’s warm throughout the year, and unlike most tents, will not suffer from damp penetration or mildew
  • There’s heating in all rooms and a combi boiler fitted
  • Interior and exterior can be upgraded at any time as the furniture is unfixed – unlike static caravans

Hay Safari Tent exterior

Advances in design and construction mean that holiday home and static caravans have evolved significantly in recent years. Because of this, it’s not always easy to know what classes as a caravan, park home or lodge.

Timm-Hay-edit

We recently sat down with Timm Hay (left) and Mark Pryor from Hay Safari, who, like other manufacturers, are finding new ways to change what’s seen as a conventional holiday park home.

Together they’ve created the Hay Safari Tent, a structure that functions in the same way as a standard caravan but with a few key differences, not least its tent like characteristics!

Hay Safari Tent interior

How did the idea to create the Hay Safari come about?
TH: The idea was formed about two years ago when myself and Mark teamed up on a project to come up with a tent capable of being warm, comfortable and stylish.

MP: There was an evident gap in the market for a luxury “glamping tent” built to high standard and for a retail cost between a static and a lodge.

Hay Safari Tent sitting room

What was the thinking behind it?
TH: We wanted to develop a luxury tent that would appeal to all the family and be good for landowners. It’s easier for landowners to get the planning permission they would need for a tent than they perhaps would a caravan.

MP: To provide a comfortable camping experience and give park owners opportunity to make the best return from their camping planning permissions. We hoped to combine a safari tent and prefabricated modular eco house design.

Hay Safari Tent interior dining kitchen

How was the development process? Any niggles or concerns?
TH: The first year was spent researching what our customers wanted, and how to develop the product to a high standard. We’ve since teamed up with Regal Holiday Homes Ltd, who now manufacture for us and each tent with double glazing and wc/shower built in as standard.

MP: We took many turns but Regal helped us to iron things out.

Hay Safari Tent exterior

Who is the product aimed at?
MP: Principally for customers looking to hire or buy something similar to a static caravan; but also for people who like the idea of camping.

TH: People who like the idea of camping but don’t want to rough it! By providing all mod cons and additions such as comfortable beds, a hot shower, wc and a plug to dry your hair, we hope to have created a product that will appeal to the masses.

Hay Safari Tent exterior deck to interior

What are the tent’s main selling points?
TH: It’s stylish, warm, able to use all year round, and planners like them too! The Savannah (one of the tents in the Safari range) is 32’ x 13”, with good sized rooms, capable of sleeping up to 6 people. The interior and exterior furnishings can easily be replaced, if necessary, making it more flexible than a caravan.

MP: Low cost, furnished with normal household fittings and furniture, no fixed layout or interior decoration; and it’s designed and built in the UK.

Hay Safari Tent interior living

Does it do everything a standard park home/static caravan would?
MP: Yes in terms of warranties, certification and transportability

Hay Safari Tent both bedrooms from hall

Hay Safari Tent interior bedroom

Do you have any plans to add more models to the range?
TH: We do – the product has great potential, and will grow as demand grows. Many people might want one as a home office, granny annex, or as a substitute for a beach hut.

MP: We’re also looking at developing different sized models and sleeper tents too.

Hay Safari Tent interior bathroom Hay Safari Tent master bed detail

Visit www.haysafaritents.co.uk for more information.

Hay Safari Tent floorplanIn summary: 

  • Hay Safari Tent
  • Savannah model (shown) 32ft x 13ft
  • Price – £29,500*

What do you think? Would you be happy to replace your static caravan or lodge with a safari tent? 

*Price includes VAT. Tent comes with 2 year warranty and is fully fitted out and ready to use. Delivery would cost extra. The price of the tent fully installed with a verandah is between £49,950 and £75,000 but can vary depending on location and Park facilities. Cost of other models may vary.

30 comments on “Product Spotlight: We chat to the creators of the Hay Safari Tent

  1. Sorry chaps,
    This is fantasy land. Having had a static caravan for many years, I can see no advantage or desire to have a tent instead of a roof. Similarly, my son-in-law, a keen tent camper, does not want all the luxuries a static caravan brings. This conceptual hybrid seems unlikely to attract sufficient interest to warrant investment.

  2. I’m sorry but it looks like it should be in the ‘carry on up the jungle film’ don’t like it one bit

  3. It’s not a tent it’s a caravan without a roof! I would consider
    anyone buying one of these barking mad, especially at nearly £30,000 ex works. If it was April, I would have thought it was an April Fools spoof!

    1. Hi Guys, great to hear the comments. We’re always keen to share new things with our emagazine subscribers and blog users and to stimulate discussion. It is of course a very unusual concept and I’m sure the guys at Hay Safari will be reading your comments and be very interested to hear what you have to say. Keep the comments coming!

  4. £30,000 for a caravan with a cloth roof, someone is having a laugh here.

    I own a static, why would I want a canvas roof?

    What about longevity of the roof, birds mess, weather staining.

    How do you clean it.

    A definite non starter, perhaps they should take it on Dragons Den if they want to know what people think about it?

    No thanks not even at a third of the price.

  5. What a ridiculous idea!!! it certainly takes the cake for an April fool. Only fools would buy this hybrid, neither a static van nor a tent, the worst of both worlds. Would like to see how roof performs in a gale!!

  6. Like some others I had to check it wasnt April Fools Day! I have just paid £30k for my static fully installed with decking and I would not contemplate changing the roof for a bit of canvas. It actually looks like the rain would pool on it and soak everything once it gave up under the load. This must be the daftest idea I have seen for a very long time.

  7. anyone who parks this under or near trees is asking for trouble – leaf and snow load and that awful stuff called mould growth, If the intention of the designer is to get noticed for silly ideas then ……

  8. Just can’t believe it..! Why would anyone pay more for this flimsy thing ,presumably completely lacking insulation etc., than for a “proper” static.! It’s barmy…!!

  9. Sorry guys, this is to flashy for words, only a 2 year warranty as well. Most statics, even 2nd hand ones get a better deal.
    Also could buy a decent 2nd hand 4berth Motorhome for this price and be a lot more flexi as to were to holiday.

  10. Hi to all comments!
    The safari tent has a solid roof, but is not a static caravan. The comments are very negative, although I appreciate none of the commentators has seen the product, which is superior to a caravan.
    If anyone has any proactive feedback I can tell you the story behind the product. It is much more detailed than the article suggests, and I’m sure this product will sell all over the world. Any doubters check out our website and watch this space! They are renting at £700 per week.

  11. Sorry guys this looks like joke, its not April fools day is it.
    What is the point in having a canvas roof it not only looks terrible its unfunctional how long will the furnishings and interior last without getting damp etc Poor Idea

  12. I have camped in many types of tents. I have owned residential holiday homes and look on the canvas roofed idea with interest. It may be OK for some continental parks but the weather in Scotland is so wet windy hot , sometimes in same day I fear the roof would surely be destroyed in short order.

  13. Absolutely crazy idea.
    I wouldn’t pay £29.00 for it let alone £29,000plus.If you want a glorified tent, buy a trailer tent. At least with that, you wouldn’t have 35 feet to leak and blow off in a strong wind!

  14. What do you do with it in the winter? Do you take it down, in which case where do you put it, or do you leave it up and wait for the call telling you your roof has blown off? The only possible benefit in this country could be to get around planning regulations but I would have to be desperate! I would love to know what the “dragons” would make of it.

  15. Oh, what negativity. I like it, it’s quirky and stylish and unusual and makes my static look like a dated old box. Good luck with it, guys, if Tipi glamping took off, this should too.

  16. love the interior,but like all other comments find the roof would deteriate very quickly, and be very noisy in windy weather. How about a solid roof with a canvas body? seems a better idea

  17. Dear Frances

    Thank you for your kind comments regarding the safari tent. We appreciative the positive feedback. The tent is extremely well built and will outlast the life of a static caravan. The cover is similar to that of a side of an articulated lorry and has a 25 year guarantee, and comes in almost every colour you can think of! The interiors have been cleverly crafted by interior designers, and the furniture is mainly from ikea, but its loose rather than fitted, meaning the interior and exterior can be upgraded at any time, unlike a static which are built from the inside out, with fixed furniture. The walls have 50mm celotex (like houses) and plaster board walls, so are much stronger and warmer than a static. The weight is about 2.5 tonnes, so they will withstand most weather conditions, similar to a static in size and weight. The tents are selling on Holiday Parks for between £49,950 and £99,950, and renting for up to £700 per week, and can be rented for 52 weeks a year. The yield on the investment is presently circa 30%. If you can get this rate of return on your money then well done. If not, then perhaps you should think again! These tents are going to be a fantastic buy to let opportunity for investors who have cash doing nothing much in the bank. Please come and take a look for yourself! Regards. Timothy Hay Managing Director

  18. Unfortunately Tim, people are being negative because they do not like the product, if they liked it theywould say so, me included.

    I think you might be digging a hole for yourself here and banging in your own coffin nails at the same time .

    “Outlast a static” ?
    “Sides like an articulated lorry” ?
    “Ikea furniture!”
    Incidentally modern static caravans do come with loose furniture.

    50mm Celotex £6 per sq metre trade price.

    What about fire protection and dampness.

  19. We have had a static caravan for 20 years and I would not trade it in for a roof like that! I cannot imagine having a tent like roof can be as warm as the normal type of static roof, I would imagine your gas bill would double at least. Certainly not our choice.

  20. how I agree with others it looks hideous with this sagging tent like roof would not like to think i had paid all that money for something so ugly and for 75 thousand you can buy absolute luxury caravan no thanks

  21. How on earth is this classed as a tent, legally I mean? I am struggling to convince the planning department that a trailer tent is a tent not a caravan as it falls within the definition of a caravan, as does this static / tent.

  22. Where are you getting you planning definition of a tent from? I know of people who have had Trailer Tents and Folding Campers classed as caravans!

    While the idea is in fact interesting to me as much as people here don’t like it, it is another option and in my experience people like options. Certainly I can think of people who would like the comfort of a static caravan but still feel like they are camping. But I know no one who would risk 30k buying one unless the definition you are using was tested in court.

    All in all I like the idea of a halfway house between the typical safari tent or yurt and a static caravan, I do however think the price needs to be halfway between the 2 as well.

  23. Dear Tim

    Thanks for your response. Seeing is believing, so the first thing I would suggest is you come and see what we have created. Our luxurious tent, albeit not collapsible or dismountable, is aimed between the static and lodge market, but with the planning definition of a tent. The negative comments are mainly due to the commentators not having seen them as when you have seen them, your opinion would change very quickly.
    My bank manager called me a genius when he saw it, but my ego was comforted when we have quoted for a £1.5m order for them.kind regards

  24. Well, locally the planners believe that these eye sores are indeed tents! So far, out of the 2 that are erected 1 has had to have a new canvas roof due to wind damage so how they will survive the winter I don’t know. Also the noise they make in any wind is horrendous. Wishing anyone who stays in one of these all best.

  25. I have a luxury caravan holiday home in Kessingland and have seen these so called ‘safari tents’ for myself. They are hideous, look like a caravan that has had the roof blown off and a tarpaulin put over it!! Can’t open the windows, you would trip up the guy ropes, noisy in the wind and look hideous, no I wouldn’t swap my luxury holiday caravan for this and my caravan did not cost anything like the exhorbitant prices being asked for these so called ‘tents,

  26. Sorry to see all these negative comments. I’ve seen one in the flesh, they are great units and shouldn’t be compared to statics. They are very well designed and yes, they will sell, by the bucketload I guess. We’ll done Tim, great product and good luck with sales.

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