Thierry Teyssier is not a hotelier by métier (visit Maisons des Rêves, his exquisite design boutique in Paris, to understand his day-job calling). This hasn’t stopped him turning Dar Ahlam in southern Morocco into an oasis that tops many people’s best lists. But it is Dar Ahlam Nomade (www.maisondesreves.com; from €1,650), his tented camp near the Algerian border in the saffron dunes of the Sahara, that still pervades my dreams years after I visited it. Here, you exit the 21st century and enter a tableau as imagined by Thesiger or Lawrence, with a liberal dusting of Merchant Ivory. It features you, the dunes, your simply but elegantly appointed bivouac and a skeleton staff who fade and materialise like shadows, scripting your stay perfectly. You are borne, at dusk, to a spectacular candlelit tent for a tangia stew; you are woken with murmurs at dawn, and led to an immaculately set table atop a dune to watch the rosy disc of the sun rise, over delicate fruits stewed with spices. Its genius is in the framing of the camp’s – and increasingly, the world’s – most covetable luxuries: solitude and silence.
For other ways to penetrate the wilderness, see a clutch of new mobile safari camps, from Kenya’s Northern Frontier to Ladakh’s Nubra Valley