15 Scenic Places to Go Camping in South Africa

Camping by moonlight
Camping by moonlight | © Arup Malakar/Flickr
Photo of Carina Claassens
28 July 2017

Veteran campers will agree that the ideal camping spot should offer breathtaking scenery above anything else. Luckily, when camping in South Africa, there are plenty of scenic camping spots scattered all over the country—from desert landscapes to lush forest views, here are a few of the smorgasbord to choose from.

Beaverlac Camping, Cederberg

Beaverlac Camping Site is situated in a valley in the Cederberg and offers campers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the natural surroundings. Mountains surround the camp site, 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

Beaverlac Camping Site, Porterville, South Africa, +27 22 931 2945

Bontle Camping Site, Marakele National Park

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 camp site definitely lives up to its name. Make sure it’s 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)

Bontle Camping Site, Marakele National Park, Thabazimbi, South Africa

Bruintjieskraal Campsite, Baviaanskloof

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

Bruintjieskraal Campsite, Baviaanskloof, Grootrivier Poort, Baviaanskloof, South Africa, +27 84 515 0993

Cape Vidal, Isimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal

The Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site boasts amazing bird life, pristine beaches, and unmatched snorkeling opportunities. This is where Cape Vidal, offering 50 camp sites all literally a stone’s throw away from the beach, can be found.

Rate for camp site (per unit): R720 (€17.76) ($20.77) (1-4 people)

Cape Vidal, Isimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa +27 35 590 1633

Dappat se Gat, Kogel Bay Resort

Map View
Kogel Bay, South Africa
Kogel Bay, South Africa | © slack12/Flickr
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

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

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 to tough it out 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

De Hoop Campsite, /Ai/Ais–Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Richtersveld National Park, South Africa, +27 27 831 1506

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

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)

Ebb and Flow, Dumbelton Rd, Wilderness, South Africa, +27 44 877 1197

Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp, Orange River

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 (€) ($) per adult, per night | R60 (€) ($) children under 13 and pensioners

Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp, Rooiwal Suid, South Africa, +27 27 761 8953

Glen Reenen Campsite, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

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 and a trek up the Brandwag Buttress will provide 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)

Glen Reenen Campsite, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Highlands National Park Clarens Rd, Clarens, South Africa, +27 58 255 1000

Groen River Campsites, Namaqua National Park

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 490 km (304.47 miles) from Cape Town, and only 4WD vehicles can access the coastal section. Groen River’s camp site has no electricity, water, or ablutions, so take everything necessary. There’s also no cell 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)

Namaqua National Park, Namakwa, Northern Cape, South Africa, +27 27 672 1948

Camping namaqualand

© René de Klerk

Mahai River Campsite, Royal Natal National Park

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 camp site is situated below the Drakensberg Mountains and offers views of the world-famous grand-cliff face, the Amphitheatre.

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

Royal Natal National Park (Tendele) Bungalows, No. 1 Old Duncan, McKenzie Drive, Town Bush Valley, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Mazhou Camping Site, Mapungubwe National Park

Mapungubwe National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a rich history as an African kingdom flourished here between 900 and 1300 AD. 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)

Mapungubwe National Park, Musina, South Africa, +27 15 534 7923

Nqweba Campsite, Camdeboo National Park

A visit to the Camdeboo National Park is incomplete without seeing the Valley of Desolation or touring the interesting town of Nieu Bethesda. The camp site is tidy and situated close to the Nqweba Dam, complete with viewing deck–perfect for sundowners. Each camp site 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)

Nqweba Campsite, Unnamed Road, Graaff-Reinet, South Africa

Pyper se Boom, Tankwa Karoo National Park

Pyper se Boom is only accessible by 2×4 or 4×4 vehicle, and it is a rustic camping option perfect for those wishing to escape the hustle 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 go 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)

Tankwa Karoo National Park, R355, Calvinia, South Africa, +27 27 341 1927


© René de Klerk

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