Yes, you had to walk to a central tent for toilets and showers. They still have those camps on the Yosemite Valley floor, and driving up the the Tioga Road, you can find drive-in "high Sierra" camps at White Wolfe and Tuolumne Meadows.
As adults we hiked the "High Sierra Loop" in Yosemite, going from one tented camp to another. It was like backpacking without the backpacks... with showers and toilets... and with meals provided. What more could you ask for in the back country? If you want to find out more about these go to Accommodation in Yosemite.
Camping adventures like this might not be your cup of tea, but if you are traveling and looking for birds and wildlife in Africa or India or the Caribbean.... and you're offered stays in a tented camp, you should consider it... It will probably be more fun than you think!
Semi-permanent camps like this are easier on the environment than permanent lodges in most cases. Some of these sprang up because of requirements that the facilities could be taken down without a trace in African national parks. Others have come about because people are just more aware of the environment today.
We're reading about tents springing up as accommocations in eco-travel locations in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.... places for people interested in sustainable tourism.... and what we're read makes them sound like heavenly destinations either on a beach or in a rain forest. We haven't personally stayed in any, but we have friends who have. Hope we can find the time to get to one soon.
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