Top 10 Camping Sites In South Africa – Don’t Just Go To Any Camp For The Sake Of Holidays!
South Africa’s breathtaking landscape, amiable climate and amazing wildlife make an ideal setting for a thrilling camping experience. For those of you who love soaking up the sights, sounds and serenity of nature, check out this list of top 10 camping sites across South Africa.
1. Driehoek Farm, Western Cape
Located 240 kilometres from Cape Town on the N7, the Driehoek Farm nestles at the heart of the Cederberg Mountains and offers quite the picturesque camping site. This camping site makes the perfect base for a number of activities:
Hiking: Driehoek is surrounded by magnificent mountains and ideal as a base for hiking to well-known landmarks such as Tafelberg, Sneeuberg, the Maltese Cross, Welbedacht and Panorama caves.
Short walks on Driehoek: Shorter walks are available around the farm area with various natural pools and sights such as a waterfall, old stone leopard cage, bushman paintings and bird watch points.
Waterfall – 1.2km
Old landmark – 1.6km
Busman paintings – 2.3km
Leopard cage – 1.7km
Bird watch point – 900m
Natural pool – 1.5km
Pony rides: Pony rides by appointment.
The campsite offers pony rides for the young ones. Riding is done at own risk. Please remember to bring your own helmets.
Swimming: Various natural pools for swimming with water throughout the year. Swemgat is one of the pools around.
Farm animals: Driehoek is an operating farm where children are able to pet the animals and watch some of the farm activities. Farm animals include free-ranging chickens, turkeys, a Potbelly pig, sheep, cattle and horses.
Beauty Therapy: One of Driehoek’s historical buildings was converted into a therapy room, to be used for beauty treatments. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Mountain Biking: Various circular routes on the farm and around the area to experience the outdoor environment. Please remember to bring your own mountain bike.
Overall, Driehoek Farm definitely fits to be on the top 10 camping sites in South Africa.
Prices: R150 for up to 5 people (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
2. Tankwa Karoo National Park, Western Cape
The 143 600 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park is home to a fascinating diversity of life. You can take in the rugged splendour or the Karoo at the two newly-developed camping sites in the Park. Surrounded by amazing moonscapes, mountainous cliffs and rich plant life you enjoy a rather rustic camping site that is unlike any other.
There are numerous activities you can do at the camp:
4×4 Trails: |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld is only accessible in 4×4 vehicles. There are 4×4 trails available at a number of parks.
Beach Access: Beaches are available at Addo Elephant, Agulhas, Knysna/Wilderness, Namaqua, Table Mountain, Tsitsikamma and West Coast.
Canoeing: A 3-day canoe trails are available at Wilderness. Casual boating and canoeing can be done here too and at Golden Gate, Tsitsikamma (Nature’s Valley) and Knysna.
Fishing: Fishing permits are available at Addo Elephant, Agulhas, Bontebok, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld and West Coast. Angling has been stopped at Tsitsikamma because of the drastic decline of rocky shoreline species.
Flower Season: Flower Season (usually at its height in the months of August and September) is a feature at Agulhas, Bontebok, Namaqua, West Coast and Wilderness. Flower displays are found in other parks as well. Watch these parks’ sites for seasonal updates.
Game Watching: There are many wonderful and attracting features of South African National Parks, but as a generalization the biggest drawcard of our parks are the mammals.
Golf: Kruger (Skukuza) is the only SANParks venue that operates a golf course. However many of the other parks have golf courses in their near vicinity.
Guided Game Drives (Night and Day): Park guided day and night drives are permanently available at a number of parks.
Hikes, Walks, And Trails: There are a variety of hiked, trails and walks across all 19 Parks.
Historical Exhibits: Historical exhibits are to be found in all of the parks.
Horse Riding: Park facilitated horse riding is available in Addo Elephant, Golden Gate and Mountain Zebra.
Kruger National Park Trails:
- Wilderness Trails
- General information
- Individual Trail information
- Request booking
- Back Pack Trails: There are back-pack and ‘slaak-pack’ trails available at a number of parks. Kruger’s Mphongolo andOlifants Back Packing Trails are quite popular. Please see each parks information for more details.
- Eco-Trails: Lebombo Eco-Trail: is a 5-day (4 night) outdoor adventure spanning a great part of the Kruger. Malopeni Eco-Trail: The Malopeni Overnight Eco Trail is a guided one night motorised adventure trail which travels along management roads in the area to the north-east of Phalaborwa Gate up to the Letaba River.
- Mountain Bike Trails: There is place for a maximum of 6 participants per trail. Two qualified and armed field guides will lead the trails. Olifants Camp will supply the mountain bikes. Backpacks, water bottles, bicycle helmets and snacks will also be provided.
- Agulhas National Park – Motorcycle friendly
- Golden Gate Highlands National Park – Motorcycle friendly
- Karoo National Park – Motorcycles allowed after prior arrangement
- Knysna National Lake Area – Motorcycle friendly
- Namaqua National Park – Motorcycles allowed on all public roads
- Tankwa Karoo National Park – Motorcycles allowed
- Tsitsikamma National Park – Motorcycle friendly
- West Coast National Park – Motorcycle friendly
- Wilderness National Park – Motorcycles allowed on designated routes
Mountain Bike Trails: Mountain Biking is permitted in a number of parks where animals do not pose a safety threat to riders, as well as at Olifants in the KNP.
Otter Trail: The Otter Trail is a 5-day and 4 nights trail that is takes place in the Tsitsikamma Area of the Garden Route National Park.
Picnic Sites: Available in all parks.
Birding, sailing, snooker, tennis, whale watching and many more! Tankwa Karoo is actually one of the camping sites in South Africa packed with all activities for everyone’s taste!
Price: R100 for 2 people (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
3. Yellowwood Forest Campsite, Morgan Bay, Eastern Cape
If you are looking for a peaceful forested camping site, the Yellowwood Forest Campsite in Morgan Bay could be the perfect choice for you. The grass-covered, shady camping sites are an ideal pick for campers with kids. The Yellowwood Forest camping site is where you go to enjoy the best side of great outdoors.
Yellowwood Forest Campsite in Morgan Bay is a unique camping paradise on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. Enjoy camping in peaceful forested campground on the banks of the Inchara River, or in the camp’s rustic self-catering accommodation, surrounded by enormous trees and lush riverine vegetation.
Yellowwood Forest Campsite is a tranquil Garden of Eden offering unique Morgan Bay accommodation. Camp, caravan or stay in a thatched loft or rustic bush camp accommodation. This riverside campground, under huge forest trees, is a bird watcher’s paradise offering safe, sheltered camping for nature lovers and school groups.
For campers there are a variety of shady sites, all with grass. There’s the main camping area with lush lawns and enormous trees. These sites all receive full morning sun and welcome shade in the afternoon. Some are close to the play area for folk with little ones. The camping sites further away offer peace and quiet and Acacia Karoo thorn trees give a bushveld feel with lots of shade.
The ablutions are centrally situated. These hobbit-like rock and thatch facilities with their mud walls and recycled glass detail are an experience in themselves. They’re well cared for and cleaned daily. There are four flushing loos, three showers, a bath and hand basins each in their own private cubical. There are also three basins with hot water for dishes and laundry.
Yellowwood Forest is a nature lovers paradise, with only 30 level sites, each offering something different. We pride ourselves in giving campers a guided tour on arrival and a choice of at least 3 sites (Even at year end, when the campsite is full). There are more sites available than we allow people, so you get to choose where to nest for the duration of your stay. There are never more than a handful of caravaners at any one time and the camp like to place them away from the waters edge, with tents and trailers closer.
If you’re not up for erecting a tent there is a rustic bush camp on the rivers edge, up against the forest, which sleeps 4 and a small loft above the gift shop perfect for a couple and offering a birds eye view of the trees. The campsite also offer ‘tentless’ camping where its staff will put up one for you. Just arrive.
Price: R170 for up to 6 persons (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
4. Glen Reenen Rest Camp Golden Gate National Park, Free State
The Golden Gate National Park lies nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and is 22km East of Clarens in Free State. The brilliant shades of gold that are cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs of the Park certainly make it a place worth camping at. The Glen Reenen camping sites allow you the chance to be enthralled by the gorgeous views and admire local birdlife and game. When it comes to activities, this camp is under SANParks just like Tankwa Karoo National park, this means you will find almost the same kind of activities here too. Definitely one of the camping sites in South Africa to give a try!
Price: R165 for two persons (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
5. Magalies Sleepy River Campsite, Gauteng
Located just 60 minutes away from Johannesburg, Magalies Sleepy River Campsite gives you a quick getaway into a peaceful environment that is surrounded by lush vegetation.
Magalies Sleepy River is situated along the banks of the Magalies River which flows through natural vegetation with indigenous trees that provide shade for picnic areas and caravan sites/camping sites.The caravan and camping sites which are supplied with electrical points and braai facilities, are set among the trees and near to the ablution blocks which contains toilets/ baths, showers, laundry basins and sinks, swim in the large sparkling pool and then relax or play games on the surrounding expanse of lawn. The change rooms and shaded parking are conveniently situated for these facilities. We also have some things for sale such as ice cream, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, ice, and wood.
There are paths for those who like to walk and enjoy the natural scenery, with lots of wild birds to gaze at.
Magalies Sleepy River is centrally situated in a malaria free area…one of the few camping sites in South Africa that can confidently be confirmed to be malaria free. In the area is Horse Riding, trips down a Gold mine, Restaurants, Galleries/ Antique Shops, Hiking Trails, Ostrich farm, Tea Gardens and we belong to the Magalies Meander.
Price: R100-00 per site per day (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
6. Ilanga Resort and Caravan Park, KwaZulu-Natal
If a beach camp site is what you are looking for then visit the Ilanga Resort and Caravan Park, it is one of the camping sites in South Africa that fits the beach profile for anyone who has this kind of a camping taste. Lying adjacent to the Banana Beach of the Hibiscus Coast, this site offers access to exciting rock pools and plenty of sand, sea and surf. Something you certainly have to catch is the glorious Sardine Rush that happens during winter months.
- Adjacent Banana Beach is a great spot to enjoy surf, sun and sand.
- Scuba diving can be arranged nearby, or join up with a deep sea fishing charter.
- For some thrilling adventure visit Oribi Gorge about an hour’s drive away.
- Swim in safety at the tidal pool on the rocks or at the resort pool.
- The attractions of the northern Wild Coast make for an interesting day trip.
- Oh, and who would visit the South Coast without their golf clubs? Some of the best golf courses in the country are situated nearby.
Price: From R460 for 6 persons (mid-season) – (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
7. Bontle Camping Site Marakele National Park, Limpopo
Located just three-and-a-half hours from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Bontle Camping site in Marakele National Park offers plenty of grassed camping sites and lots of shade. The Marakele National Park is home to diverse animal life, however, game sightings are few and far between. What you can look out for is rhino and elephant. The Marakele National Park also inhabitsthe world’s largest breeding colonies of the endangered Cape Vulture.
Price: From R185 for two persons (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
8. Forever Badplaas Resort, Mpumalanga
If you are looking for complete outdoor family fun, the Forever Badplassis a great choice. Nestled within a nature reserve at the foot of the Hlumuhlumu Mountains, the Forever Badplass Resort offers 300 picture-perfect caravan and camping sites. There are lots of fun activities you can indulge in like fishing, game drives, tree walking trails, horse trails and more. You can also pamper yourself at the award-winning Hydro Spa.
Price: From R113 per person per day (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
9. The Growcery Orange River Camp, Northern Cape
Situated on the banks of the Orange River, The Growcery is a grassed, basic needs bush camp with all the bare essentials needed to provide an unforgettable experience. The endless views of the river and the surrounding rock formations offer campers a tranquil environment to be one with nature. The Growcery offers fun outdoor activities like swimming, tag and release fishing, mountain biking, combination 4X4 guided safaris and Orange River rafting trails.
Price: From R150 per person per night (visit the campsite website as prices may have changed)
10. Klien Paradys Caravan Park, North West
Klein Paradys means ‘little heaven’ and for a good reason. The spots here are the perfect place to relax, laze about on the lush lawns and enjoy the serene views of the dam close by. The sites are equipped with electricity, braai stands, water taps and clean ablution blocks. A weekend break at the tranquil Klein Paradys Caravan Park is all you need to refresh yourself. The camping sites are closed to visitors during the winter months of June and July.
Long story short, any of the top 10 camping sites in South Africa described in this article will definitely give you great memories…..it is time of the year to go enjoy and have this great adventure in South Africa, happy holidays!
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