Scenic Places to Go Camping in South Africa

Whether you head for Drakensberg or elsewhere, camping in South Africa can offer sights to remember
Whether you head for Drakensberg or elsewhere, camping in South Africa can offer sights to remember | © Africa Media Online / Alamy Stock Photo

Veteran campers will agree that the ideal camping spot should offer breathtaking scenery above all else. Luckily, when it comes to camping in South Africa, there are plenty of beautiful sites across the country. Whether you seek a desert landscape or lush forest views, here are a few of the best.

1. Beaverlac Camping, Cederberg

Camping

Beaverlac Camping is situated in a valley in the Cederberg range and offers campers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the natural surroundings. Mountains surround the campsite, and two rivers run through it. There are also many rock pools to take a dip in during warmer months. The best part? The site is pet-friendly.

Camping fees: R30 (€1.97) ($2.31) per car | R60 (€3.95) ($4.62) per adult, per day | R40 (€2.63) ($3.08) per child, per day | Children under four, free | R50 (€3.29) ($3.85) per dog, per day

2. Bontle Camping Site, Marakele National Park

Camping

Marakele National Park is situated in the Waterberg Mountains and the Bontle Camping Site allows overnights in the heart of the Bushveld. Bontle means “beautiful” in Setswana and the campsite definitely lives up to its name. Make sure to go for a morning or sunset bush walk. Daily conservation fee: R44 (€2.90) ($3.39) per adult, per day | R22 (€1.45) ($1.69) per child, per day
Camping tariffs: From R265 (€17.43) ($20.38)

3. Bruintjieskraal Campsite, Baviaanskloof

Camping

The Bruintjieskraal Campsite is found at the entrance to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area in the Grootrivier Poort—overlooking the Grootriver and Kouga and Winterhoek Mountains. The tranquil campsite is grassy and includes all amenities, including drinking water and a braai area—perfect for evenings around the fire.

Rates: R70 (€4.60) ($5.39) per adult, per day | R35 (€2.30) ($2.69) per child under nine, per day

4. Cape Vidal, Isimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal

Camping

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site boasts amazing bird life, pristine beaches, and unmatched snorkelling opportunities. This is where Cape Vidal, offering 50 campsites all a stone’s throw away from the beach, can be found. Rate for campsite (per unit): R720 (€17.76) ($20.77) (1-4 people)

5. Dappat se Gat, Kogel Bay Resort

Resort

Situated near Gordon’s Bay on the beachfront, Dappat se Gat offers beautiful views of the ocean and is surrounded by indigenous fynbos and towering mountains. There are great walking routes nearby, and it’s only a short drive from many small towns such as Rooi-Els and Betty’s Bay (where visitors can see the local penguin colony).

Tariffs: From R132 (€8.69) ($10.15) per site, per day

6. De Hoop Campsite, /Ai/Ais–Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

Camping

At first sight, the /Ai/Ais – Richtersveld Transfrontier Park seems like not much more than an arid-desert landscape. After closer inspection, the abundance of plant, bird, and animal life becomes evident. Unbelievably, the park contains the world’s richest assortment of desert flora. De Hoop Campsite is very rustic, has no electricity, and no hot water. This is the ideal option for those who want their time camping in South Africa to be a chance to tough it in the wild.

Daily conservation fee: R70 (€4.61) ($5.39) per adult, per day | R35 (€2.30) ($2.69) per child, per day
Camping tariffs: From R225 (€14.80) ($17.31) per site

7. Ebb and Flow, Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park

Camping

Wilderness and the Garden Route National Park, in particular, is renowned for its lush landscape. The Ebb and Flow camping site is the ideal spot from which to take it all in. Surrounded by forest and mountains, this is the perfect getaway for adventure seekers. From whale watching to hiking and canoeing, there’s a whole range of activities to enjoy.

Daily conservation fees: R37 (€2.43) ($2.85) per adult, per day | R18 (€1.18) ($1.39) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R190 (€12.50) ($14.62)

8. Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp, Orange River

Camping

Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp is situated on soft, green grass on the banks of the colossal Orange River–the longest river in the country. The site is also the base for many activities from rafting to 4×4 trips. Most of the sites have also been enclosed with a reed fence to ensure privacy but not interrupting the views. Make sure to find out about the not-to-be-missed river-rafting excursions at reception.

Camping rates: R85 (€5.26) ($5.82) per adult, per night | R60 (€3.71) ($4.11) children under 13 and pensioners

9. Glen Reenen Campsite, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Camping

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is found in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and also offers views of the Drakensberg Mountain Range. The park is a hiker’s dream come true – a trek up the Brandwag Buttress provides panoramic vistas over the surrounding area.

Daily conservation fees: R44 (€2.89) ($3.38) per adult, per day | R22 (€1.45) ($1.69) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R215 (€14.14) ($16.54)

10. Groen River Campsites, Namaqua National Park

Camping

The Namaqua National Park is well worth a visit during the spring when thousands of flowers go into bloom and put on an impressive show of colour. The park is situated approximately 490km (305mi) from Cape Town, and only four-wheel drive vehicles can access the coastal section. Groen River’s campsite has no electricity, water, or ablutions, so take everything necessary. There’s also no phone reception, so it’s great for getting off the grid.

Daily conservation fees: R37 (€2.43) ($2.85) per adult, per day | R18 (€1.18) ($1.39) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R135 (€8.87) ($10.39)

11. Mahai River Campsite, Royal Natal National Park

Camping

Whether looking for an adventure-filled holiday (including hiking, horse riding, and rock climbing) or simply wanting to relax with a good book while taking in the views, the Royal Natal National Park has it all. The campsite is situated below the Drakensberg mountains and offers views of the world-famous cliff face, the Amphitheatre.

Contact for bookings and rates: +27 (0) 33 845 1000 | bookings@kznwildlife.com

12. Mazhou Camping Site, Mapungubwe National Park

Camping

Mapungubwe National Park, a Unesco world heritage site, has a rich history, as an African kingdom flourished here between 900 and 1300 CE. The park has many historic sites to see and visitors can park overnight in the Mazhou Camping Site that has room for approximately 10 tents. Daily conservation fees: R44 (€2.89) ($3.38) per adult, per day | R22 (€1.45) ($1.69) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R265 (€17.40) ($20.37)

13. Nqweba Campsite, Camdeboo National Park

Camping

A visit to the Camdeboo National Park is incomplete without seeing the Valley of Desolation or touring the interesting town of Nieu Bethesda. The campsite is tidy and situated close to the Nqweba Dam, complete with viewing deck–perfect for sundowners. Each campsite also has a braai area and power point, however, take a head lamp or torch as night lights are limited.

Daily conservation fees: R35 (€2.30) ($2.69) per adult, per day | R17 (€1.12) ($1.31) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R225 (€14.78) ($17.30)

14. Pyper se Boom, Tankwa Karoo National Park

Camping

Pyper se Boom is only accessible by 2×4 or 4×4 vehicle, and is a perfect option for camping in South Africa when you wish to escape the bustle of city life. The vast landscape of the Tankwa Karoo National Park is free of tar roads, and visitors often come across tortoises or oryx. There are no shops in the park, so make sure to come prepared.

Daily conservation fees: R37 (€2.43) ($2.84) per adult, per day | R18 (€1.18) ($1.38) per child, per day
Camping rates: From R120 (€7.88) ($9.22)

15. Tietiesbaai, Paternoster, West Coast

Camping

Tietiesbaai, in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, has 60 caravan or tent spots, and is set along the beautiful West Coast coastline. Activities include hiking and fishing as well as exploring the nearby town of Paternoster.

Contact for bookings and rates: +27 (0) 83 992 2237 | +27 (0) 22 752 2718

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