15 of the Best Campsites in South Africa

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15 of the Best Campsites in South Africa

If you have been to South Africa, you know that choosing a campsite is no easy feat. Idyllic landscapes and lush green vegetation make for majorly all camping spots in the backcountry, so it is such an overwhelming decision. Unlike other countries where camping involves extensive trips to the backcountry, in South Africa, the best campsites are often an hour’s drive from the hotel, which makes for convenience. Trouper campers know that the scenic beauty contributes critically to the best camping memoirs, which is the inspiration behind the 15 best campsites in South Africa.

  1. Pitjane Fishing Camp, Gauteng

    best campsites in South Africa
    Photo: Nelson Sekgota

This campsite is found in Borakalalo National Park on the shores of the Klipvoor dam. Initially, for fishermen to go about their day, the camp is now flocked by travellers seeking breathing-taking eco game when they visit the national park. There are over 20 campsites located across the premises, each having a barbecue area, brick and reed-walled washrooms with flush toilets, and hot and cold showers. In addition, campers can enjoy some world-class leisure activities such as bird watching, fishing, picnic, and guided walks. For convenience purposes, reservations for camping spots on the ground should be made before making the trip.

Cost:

  • R35 per adult
  • R20 per child
  • R10 per vehicle
  1. Beaverlac Camping, Cederberg

best campsites in South Africa
Photo: Lynne Neilson Visser

Located in the valley in Cederberg, the camp has a picturesque view of the surrounding Olifants River Mountains. The campsite has two rivers Ratel and Olifants that make for a beautiful warm summer dip and sightseeing. The campers can purchase wood, bear, ice, wine, snacks, and other essential items on the premises. Campers are also strongly encouraged to maintain optimal silence between 10 pm to 7 am, giving you some time to your thoughts and countless morning routines like yoga. The site is also pet-friendly. Visitors may carry their tents or sleep in the cabins on the campsite.

Cost:

  • R30 per car
  • R60 per adult/day
  • R40 per child/day
  • Free entrance for children under four
  • R50 for pets/day
  1. Bontle Camping Site, Thabazimbi

Bontle Camping Site Marakele National Park
Photo by Emily Mokobodi

The campsite is found in the Marakele National Park, located in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains. “Bontle” stands for beautiful in Setswana, which is no coincidence given the stunning facilities poised by the 36 campsites. The 36 campsites are arranged into three clusters with a shared ablution for each set. In addition, the campsite allows for overnight stays in the bushveld, making for scenic morning and evening walks with views of pristine bushes and mountains.

Cost:

  • R44 per adult/day
  • R22 per child/day
  • Camping tariffs from R265
  1. Bruintjieskraal Campsite, Baviaanskloof

Photo by Rach Hale

The primeval grassy campsite is situated at the entrance to Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area in the scenic Grootrivier Poort overlooking the Winterhoek and Kouga Mountains. The camping area is spread out on the river banks of the Groot River and consists of three fully-equipped chalets, namely Kudu, Duiker, and Ribbok. Amenities at the Campsite include drinking water and a braai area for campers to enjoy perfect evenings around the fire. Other activities to enjoy on the site include fishing, swimming, hiking, and game viewing.

Cost:

  • R70 per adult/day
  • R35 per child/day
  1. Cape Vidal, KwaZulu Natal

Cape Vidal
Photo by sue_t_liebenberg

The campsite is located within the St. Lucia Marine Reserve in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The premises has about 50 campsites, all within the beach’s reach, where visitors can enjoy activities such as ski-boating, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, and spearfishing. The camp features 18 five-bed log cabins with three bedrooms and eight-bed log cabins with two bedrooms, all with fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, and lounge areas with barbecue facilities. Most of the site’s visitors opt for the Bhangazi Bush Lodge, which sleeps eight guests in four fully equipped units.

Cost:

  • R720 per unit of the Bhangazi Bush Lodge
  1. Dappat se Gat, Kogel Bay Resort

Dappat se Gat
Photo by Precious Mathabela

Surrounded by native fynbos and soaring mountains, Dappat se Gat is situated near Gordon’s Bay. Campers can access the beach from the site, and it is also a short walk to Betty’s Bay, an indigenous penguin colony. The campsite offers amenities such as drinking water and flush toilets.

Cost:

  • R132 per site/day
  1. De Hoop Campsite, Richtersveld National Park

The drive to the campsite is full of twists and steep mountain vista. The first sight of the Ai/Ais-Richtersveld is quite deceptive given the arid landscapes, but you will see plant and animal affluence as you move up to the campsite after closer inspection. The campground is situated next to a riverbed which more than often campers use as a good site. Given that the campgrounds are rustic, have no water and electricity, campers are advised to come prepared to cover the shortage. The campsite was intended to emulate the ancient camping lifestyle. The camp has 12 units, with each capable of hosting six people.

Cost:

  • R70 per adult/day
  • R35 per child/day
  • Camping Tariffs R225 per site
  1. Ebb and Flow, Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park

Prominent for its opulent landscape, the campsite has a serene environment for campers to savour nature. The Wilderness section of the park has an optimal forest cover and mountains, making for a perfect nature hike. Other activities such as canoeing, whale watching, and game drives make for an exceptional vacation.

Cost:

  • R37 per adult/day
  • R18 per child/day
  • Camping tariffs from R190

Also read: 20 of the best hiking trails in South Africa 

  1. Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp, Orange River

If you want a few extreme sports such as rafting, then the Fiddlers Creek Camp is your destination. The camp is located along the lush green banks of the Orange River, extending for about 12 kilometres northwest of Vioolsdrift. The campsite is mainly a stay over for those partaking in the Bushwacked Adventure rafting trips and those headed east to the Richtersveld Community Conservancy.

Cost:

  • R85 per adult/night
  • R60 per child/night (Children under 13 and senile)
  1. Glen Reenen Campsite, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

    best campsites in South Africa
    Photo by Dale French

The campsite located at the base of the Maluti Mountains offers some great scenic views of the Drakensberg Ranges. In addition, the camp connects with some fantastic hiking routes for those looking to get some miles in the wild.

Cost:

  • R44 per adult/day
  • R22 per child/day
  • Camping tariffs from R215
  1. Groen River Campsites, Namaqua National Park

The campsite is located 490 kilometres from Cape Town, and given the tuff landscape in the coastal section, only 4×4 vehicles are likely to access it. However, if you happen to come during the spring season, you should see a colourful spectacle with blossoming flowers. Given that the park has no electricity, water, ablutions, and a shaky cell signal, campers are advised to prepare adequately.

Cost:

  • R37 per adult/day
  • R18 per child/day
  • Camping tariffs from R135
  1. Mahai River Campsite, Royal Natal National Park

The campsite is found at the base of the Drakensberg Ranges. Campers can enjoy the region’s pristine scenery thanks to the amphitheatre. The main leisure activities at the campgrounds include horse riding, hiking, and rock climbing. For a beautiful experience, prior booking is encouraged for this campsite.

  1. Mazhou Camping Site, Mapungubwe National Park

Located approximately 40 kilometres from the main gate to Mapungubwe National Park, the UNESCO Heritage Site has a prevalent rich African history for visitors to enjoy when they come to the campsite. The campsite holds up to ten caravans or tents. Power is provided for each unit during their stay on the grounds.

Cost:

  • R44 per adult/day
  • R22 per child/day
  • Camping tariffs from R265
  1. Nqweba Campsite, Camdeboo National Park

Nqweba Campsite

A make-up of fifteen caravans or tent sites beneath the thorn trees on a gravel substrate, each having a braai unit and powerpoint. The tidy campsite is situated close to the Nqweba Dam and has a stunning viewpoint of the sunset.

Cost:

  • R35 per adult/day
  • R17 per child/day
  • Camping Tariffs from R225
  1. Pyper se Boom, Tankwa Karoo National Park

lastly on the best campsites in South Africa is Peyper se Boom. The campsite located in the Tankwa Karoo National Park is the perfect getaway for visitors looking for solitude. The campground’s seasonal road can occasionally prove impassable, and only 2×4 or 4×4 stand a chance of getting to the campgrounds. The campsite is only suitable for self-reliant campers given the lack of amenities such as ablutions and water.

Hope our list of the best campsites in South Africa helped you to find a beautiful campsite for your next camping trip.

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